From research to robots
“These people were my heroes,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps one day.”
And he did. At the age of 20, he invented an electronic system to control lighting in luxury houses with the use of a remote. Shortly after, he created an electro-mechanical device that could be installed on the wheels of bikes and vehicles which emitted pulsating lights to increase safety and visibility at night and sold 3,000 units.
Kamran then completed a combined Honours MSc in mechanical and electrical engineering and management at Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 2008. He decided to move to Montreal and continued his studies in mechanical engineering and completed a doctorate at McGill in 2014.
Putting his experience to work
During his PhD, Kamran undertook three Mitacs Accelerate internships with CM Labs Simulation Inc., where he developed a haptic system for simulating spinal surgery procedures for training using a robotic interface. Haptics is a technology that emulates the sense of touch within a virtual environment through a robotic interface. Using a robotic arm, users can feel the contact forces when interacting with a simulated world in computer or even a remote environment. At the end of his internship, Kamran realized that there was a significant technological gap between industry needs and available robotic devices in the area of haptic simulation.
My internship shed light on several needed improvements in the quality of haptic rendering. I realized there was an opportunity to create a business based on this.”
Creating a company
In September 2013, Kamran started Touché Technologies in the hope of becoming a leading provider of advanced robotic devices for haptic simulations targeting medical, military, and industrial training markets. Now, Touché is manufacturing three families of robots that they hope to bring on the market later this year. The company is also currently negotiating a strategic partnership with CM Labs, Kamran’s internship partner company.
When asked about the secret to his success, Kamran replies he remains a dreamer grounded in reality. “I want to create jobs that support families and stimulate the economy,” he said. “There was a time when the financial reward was my top priority. Now, doing something important and good overshadows everything else. That is the ultimate reward.”
Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Accelerate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Accelerate program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.
Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities: BD@mitacs.ca