Real Time, Interactive Simulation to Help Build Better Systems
We’ve all experienced and benefitted from the products of modeling and simulation (M&S) over the past 30 years. The cars we drive are higher performance, more efficient, safer, and more robust than Henry Ford could have ever imagined. We visit a website or home improvement store and can use augmented reality applications to visualize how new paint colors or pieces of furniture will look in our homes. A seemingly infinite array of video games are on tap 24/7 that take us far beyond the Pong or Pacman of yesteryear and drag us deep into an emotional, hyper-realistic experience. Our kids absorb information experientially through tablet-based applications and interactive simulators. The movies and shows we watch contain virtually-generated and seamlessly integrated characters that blur (if not destroy completely) the lines of reality. These modern marvels are the result of the growth, capabilities, and application of M&S technology.
CASE STUDY :
Autonomous Navigation and Virtual Environment Laboratory (ANVEL)
Real-time, interactive ground robotics modelling and simulation tool
CASE STUDY :
Visual Authoring Tools System (VATS)
Photo-realistic videos authoring for HPC-based simulation data
CASE STUDY :
A Driver’s Training Tool Using Virtual Environments
CASE STUDY :
Effectively plan and assess force protection during base construction and teardown
Why does Quantum Signal (QS) care? Because M&S isn’t an extra burden to our programs, or something we do in our spare time – it’s a part of our company soul. We live, eat, and breathe M&S because we believe great products and engineering comes through its use, and that modern M&S tools and technologies can be used to change the world around us. Based on this core belief, we’ve spent over fifteen years building in-house capabilities and products that help our users achieve their goals or delight their clients. QS’ strength in bringing together video game technology (real-time, interactive, highly-visualized software with friendly intuitive interfaces) and engineering simulation (intelligent, well-understood models that emulate real-world system performance) have resulted in a host of unique, useful solutions that were far ahead of the curve. We specialize in providing interactive, video-game style graphics, sound, friendly user interface, and real-time performance that directly integrates with engineering simulations and supporting hardware, and build products useful for engineering, training, planning, and other applications. QS’ M&S solutions are useful for studying system performance, collecting feedback from potential end users or customers, marketing a concept, training staff, exploring new concepts and ideas, and more.
The QS team has a unique combination of expertise and experience to build cutting-edge simulation applications. Team members with background in engineering and gaming work side-by-side, and QS has leveraged their expertise to build solutions to meet the demanding requirements of customers - both private and public. We have delivered outstanding, state-of-the-art interactive solutions to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, Sony, US Secret Service, THQ, and many more. Our simulation technologies have been used by many organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide.
Modeling and Simulation Tools for Mobile Robotics
Given QS’ heavy focus on developing mobile robotics technologies and applications, it should be no surprise that we are (and have been) deeply engaged in the development and use of M&S in this arena. As any well-informed roboticist will tell you: it is difficult (or in some case impossible) to develop subsystems for autonomous or robotic vehicles in a vacuum; all the components, sensors, actuators, and algorithms work together as a cohesive system to enable those “intelligent” differentiating functionalities. Development, testing, verification, and validation are all impacted by the complex, integrated nature of these systems, and the only efficient and effective manner and hope for robust outcomes is to use advanced M&S technology. Since 2007, the team has been engaged in the development of real-time tools that help support robotics and intelligent vehicle development and testing for QS, as well as hundreds of other development teams and users. These tools are applied to address areas such as:
- Exploration of concept of operation (CONOPS) for systems with different configurations operating in a variety of environments; facilitating interactive exploration of CONOPS helps developers define and distill requirements against which the system should/must be developed.
- Exploration, testing, and debugging of autonomy and related algorithms including path planning, obstacle detection and avoidance, discrete behaviors, and similar.
- Exploration, prototyping, and refinement of user interfaces; QS software has been used to act as a “stand in” virtual UGV while different designs for OCUs and user interfaces are tested with human operators.
- Development of hardware in the loop (HIL) and software in the loop (SIL) systems; QS, the Army, and others are using our software to provide real-time virtual components (vehicles, sensors, etc.) that are connected to real world components in various mixtures so software and algorithm systems and subsystems can be tested out prior to deployment on live platforms.
- Exploration of multi-vehicle/convoy systems; a “convoy creator” package that has been developed is helping the Army explore concepts of leader-follower behavior in convoys, spacing issues, communications topology or quality issues, and more.
- Testing and characterization of the performance of the systems which includes running large scale, repeated testing of algorithms or software components while varying parameters within the simulation and generating outputs that can be further analyzed and leveraged
The culmination of over a decade of QS’ mobile robotics M&S efforts is the Autonomous Navigation Virtual Environment Laboratory (ANVEL), a product available to researchers, commercial developers, and military users. QS provides software, support, and services to help users get the most out of ANVEL and help them leverage it to advance their robotics systems. More information on ANVEL is available at anvelsim.com.
Interactive Visualization Tools for Complex Data
If we didn’t recognize it then, we certainly all do now: we live in an information age. The question of whether we have the data we need has been dramatically displaced by the much larger question of how we sift through and comprehend all the data that we have. There is no easy answer, and the solutions must reflect the nature of the challenge and application area being tackled.
It is fortunate, then, that we live in an age where ubiquitous computing power, rendering capabilities, and unique hardware interfaces can be intelligently combined to yield visualization solutions. Some solutions can be addressed with a static, well-formatted pie chart presented on a flat panel, while others involve three-dimensional representations presented in a VR headset and manipulated in real time by next-gen hand-controllers with haptic feedback. No matter the representation type, UI, or format, the goals are the same: to provide insight to the user, and amplify their ability to analyze and make decisions from the data before them.
The QS team specializes in intelligent, interactive data visualization. Leveraging our experience and expertise in software development, user interface design, algorithm development, and video gaming, we build and deliver tools that help provide high-quality, interactive visualizations of data. We work with our customers to understand what they are hunting for (their data challenge) and build cutting-edge solutions using the latest in hardware and software that draw out the important stuff, providing deep and meaningful insight into datasets that would otherwise keep their secrets hidden.
If you’ve got a data visualization issue, or are looking to up the ante on your interactive data visualization solutions, let us know.
Creative Solutions for Unique Applications
If there’s one thing that’s been constant over the many years QS has been building solutions, it’s that we can’t always predict the seemingly endless array of exciting challenges and opportunities our clients bring to us. Our simulation capabilities are broad, and we’re happy to explore with you how they can be applied to create a custom, strategic, M&S based solution that meets your needs. Our team knows how rendered work, have used that new VR headset, understand augmented reality and how to build or use it, and can build a solution that your seven-year-old could operate in five minutes of training. If you’re looking for highly-visualized, interactive, intuitive sim solutions, or have recently gotten excited about a simulation or visualization technology that might be able to meet your need but don’t know how to get there, why not give us a shout? We’ve helped dozens of organizations find the right path and get to a solution, and we’re ready to help you!