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Introduction to the Robotics Laboratory

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The Laval University Robotics Laboratory is part of the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Established in 1989 by Professor Clément M. Gosselin, the research team is now composed of more than twenty graduate students and research associates. Since January 2001, Professor Gosselin is holding a Canada Research Chair in Robotics and Mechatronics, a prestigious Canadian award. A second Professor, Philippe Cardou, has joined the laboratory in 2007.

The research team has produced numerous publications and technical achievements. The research carried out in the Robotics Laboratory is funded by the major funding agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT). The laboratory has also been involved in research contracts with organisations such as the Hydro-Quebec Research Institute (IREQ), Government agencies and ministries, the Institut de Recherche en Santé et Sécurité du Travail du Québec (IRSST), the Canadian Space Agency, CAE Electronics, Opal-RT, MDA Space Missions and GM Canada.

The research activities of the laboratory are mainly focused on the study of parallel mechanisms and articulated robotic hands — two areas in which the laboratory has already gained international recognition.

The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including more than twenty PCs running under Linux and Windows, several serial and parallel robots, robotic hands, a parallel-processor system for real-time control and simulation, a rapid prototyping machine, and a wire EDM machine.

Laval University is located in Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec, the heart of French North America. The University was founded in 1852, and its origins go back to 1663. The student population is more than 35,000 and courses are taught in French.