Technical Tours

A non-refundable reservation fee of CAD 25 applies for all tours. Tours that do not reach a minimum of 10 participants may be cancelled. Transportation from the Palais des congrès to the tour location and back is provided unless indicated otherwise.

CM Labs

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 16:15
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 17:15
  • Maximum: 30
  • Walking distance

CM Labs Simulations Inc,. located in old Montreal, builds immersive training simulators for the construction, port and other industries and develops the Vortex multibody simulation software. Some of the training simulators will be demonstrated and you will have the opportunity on this tour to operate a highly accurate simulation of a crane, excavator or bulldozer.

ÉTS - École de technologie supérieure (tour added on March 12)

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 15:30
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 17:15
  • Maximum: 50
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 10 minutes

Based in downtown Montreal, the ÉTS ranks second in Canada for the number of undergraduate degrees granted in engineering. The tour will showcase the research conducted at the ÉTS in the area of robotics. The attendees will be transported by bus to and from the main building of the ÉTS (1100, Notre-Dame Ouest), which is about 1 km away from the conference venue. The attendees will then tour, in small groups several labs at the ÉTS, where they will be introduced to various projects involving dozens of industrial robots. Specifically, the research activities that will be showcased are in the field of precision robotics, parallel robotics, haptics, and collaborative robotics.

IREQ – Hydro Québec Research Institute

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 09:30
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 13:15
  • Maximum: 80
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 30-40 minutes

Hydro-Québec is the only electric utility in North America to have a research centre the size of IREQ. The company invests a yearly average of $100 million in its innovation projects. The IREQ team is made up of approximately 500 people: a broad range of scientists, technicians, engineers and specialists pool their efforts and expertise to support Hydro-Québec in every facet of its operations, from electricity generation to consumption. The tour will include an overview of Hydro-Québec and its Research Institute, and visits to the following installations:

  • Maintenance and Inspection Robotics Laboratory
  • Power Simulation Laboratory
  • High Voltage Laboratory


  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 15:15
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 17:15
  • Maximum: 50
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 15-20 minutes

A tour of various robotics-related labs at Concordia University including:

  • Dr. Suong Van Hoa, Concordia Center for Composites
  • Dr. Wen Fang Xie, Industrial Robotic Control
  • Dr. Youmin Zhang, Networked Autonomous Vehicles Lab
  • Dr. Luis Rodrigues, Aerospace Simulation and Control
  • Dr. Krzysztof Skonieczny, Aerospace Robotics Laboratory
  • Dr. Tsz Ho Kwok, Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab

Canadian Space Agency

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 09:30
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 12:30
  • Maximum: 90
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 30-50 minutes

The CSA tour will include three different locations within our facility:

  • Visit of the exhibition hall of CSA which contains projects mockups such as Radarsat-1 & 2, RCM (Radarsat Constellation Mission) and the ISS - International Space Station with Mr. Vlad Popovici (Electrical engineer).
  • Visit of the high bays and the planetary rover indoor workspace or the Lunar analog terrain (according to the weather) with Mr. Martin Picard (senior robotics engineer) and Mr. Dave Shaffer (senior project management engineer).
  • Visit of the MSS Operations Training Simulator within the Astronaut training centre where all Canadian astronauts are required to train and the Mission control gallery where all robotics operations are monitored from the ground by CSA. A current flight controller will offer this visit. 

Montreal Learning Institute for Algorithms (MILA) & Element AI

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 09:30
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 12:30
  • Maximum: 55
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 20 minutes

Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), now called Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute: Researchers from this Institute have pioneered the field of deep learning and deep neural networks (both discriminative and generative) and their applications to vision, speech and language. Mila is world-renowned for many breakthroughs in developing novel deep learning algorithms and applying them to various domains. They include neural language modelling, neural machine translation, object recognition, structured output generative modelling and neural speech recognition. The tour will include a visit to the brand new AI hub in Montreal (opened Jan 2019). Presentations, video and poster presentations from students and researchers in this group will describe cutting-edge results.

Element AI creates products designed to augment decisions that help make businesses stronger, safer and more agile. The company streamlines academic research and deep industry expertise into operations models so organizations can navigate complexity with veracity. The suite of Element AI products augment decision making for roles across every organization that rely on supply chain and financial services. Element AI was co-founded in 2016 by seasoned entrepreneur JF Gagné and leading AI researcher Yoshua Bengio. Located in the deep learning hub of Montréal, Canada, the company is committed to promoting non-predatory, collaborative research models through collective intelligence.

Moment Factory

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 14:00
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 16:30
  • Maximum: 30
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 20 minutes

Moment Factory is a multimedia studio with a full range of production expertise under one roof. Our team combines specializations in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. With its headquarters based in Montreal, the studio also has offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, New York City and Paris. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 400 unique shows and destinations. Productions span the globe and include such clients as Los Angeles Airport, Nine Inch Nails, Microsoft, NFL, Sony, Toyota, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Madonna and Royal Caribbean.

McGill University

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 16:00
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 18:00
  • Maximum: 55
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 20 minutes

A visit to McGill’s Centre for Intelligent Machines and the Simulation Centre. The Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM) is an inter-departmental inter-faculty research group which was formed in 1985 to facilitate and promote research on intelligent systems. Intelligent systems and machines are capable of adapting their behaviour by sensing and interpreting their environment, making plans, and then carrying out those plans using physical actions. The mission of CIM is to excel in the field of intelligent systems, stressing basic research, technology development and education. The members of CIM seek to advance the state of knowledge in such domains as -- robotics, artificial intelligence, computer vision, medical imaging, haptics, systems and control, computer animation and machine and reinforcement learning.

The Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning—an interprofessional centre of excellence—uses medical simulation to enhance the skills of health care professionals. The SIM Centre continuously strives to improve patient safety and quality of care through education, research, evaluation and innovation. During this tour, attendees will break up into smaller groups to view a variety of demos in state-of-the-art robotics, applied medical technologies and AI.

FP Innovations Domtar

  • Departure from Palais des congrès: 07:30
  • Return to Palais des congrès: 19:30
  • Maximum: 55
  • This tour visits several sites.
  • Bus transportation, lunch and breaks are included in this tour.

Forestry : The ultimate automation challenge

FPInnovations, Canada’s R&D organization for the forest sector, invites you to experience in real-life the ultimate challenge facing the implementation of robotics and automation technologies. Unlike mining or agriculture, forests represent extremely unstructured and harsh environments presenting perpetually changing conditions. Yet, acute labor shortages faced by the forestry sector are generating tremendous interest in the potential of automation technologies to address this problem. During this one day excursion to forest operations in the eastern townships region run by Domtar Inc., one of North America’s leading pulp and paper companies, you will see forest machines harvesting and extracting timber in FSC certified natural forests, as well as log handling machines in the company’s mill yard in Windsor, Que. Both sites will provide opportunities to discuss automation possibilities and challenges. Furthermore, on the bus ride out to the sites, FPInnovations scientists will present information and videos about the timber supply chain, as well as on its Forestry 4.0 initiative, driven largely at automating harvesting and transportation operations. Because the visits will be outdoors, sturdy closed footwear and appropriate clothing are recommended. Personal safety equipment will be provided to the participants at the observation sites. Lunch and health breaks are also included as part of this tour.

Further information:

Beauharnois Power Station

  • Group 1: departure at 11:30, return at 15:30 (CANCELLED)
  • Group 2: departure at 13:15, return at 17:30
  • Departure from / to Palais des congrès
  • Maximum: 50 per group
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 45-60 minutes

EXCEPTIONAL SINCE 1932 Come visit Beauharnois Generating Station, one of the world’s largest hydropower facilities, located just 45 minutes from downtown Montréal! Discover the exceptional design of this facility, whose construction began by pick and shovel more than 80 years ago. You’ll be impressed by the award-winning architecture of this Art Deco structure, which has earned it a place among the country’s national historic sites. Its 38 generating units, spread out over almost a kilometer, make it Hydro-Québec’s most powerful run-of-river plant. Don’t miss it! DID YOU KNOW? Three Olympic pools Every second, enough water flows through Beauharnois generating station to fill three Olympic-sized pools. Now everything runs like a synchronized swimming event! Pride of Beauharnois Like New York City’s Empire State Building, Beauharnois generating station is Art Deco inspired. Popular during the 1920s, this architectural style is known for its elegant aesthetics. Art and science come together, with electrifying results. Three Eiffel towers Beauharnois generating station is as long as three Eiffel towers laid end to end. Now that’s long!

Université de Montréal et Polytechnique Montréal

  • Group 1: departure at 13:30, return at 15:30
  • Group 2: departure at 14:30, return at 16:30
  • Group 3: departure at 15:30, return at 17:30
  • Departure from / to Palais des congrès
  • Maximum: 55 per group
  • Estimated bus transfer time per direction: 20-30 minutes

This tour will showcase robotics research (on swarm robotics, UAVs, manipulation, human-robot-interfaces, and self-driving cars) on the campus of the University of Montreal. Attendees will be transported by bus to the Pavillon Lassonde of Polytechnique Montreal where there will be an open space with posters and demos from the labs of Profs. Achiche, Beltrame, Saussié, and Birglen. The attendees will then tour, in small groups, the different labs at Polytechnique and walk to the Pavillon Eisenstadt for the labs of the University of Montreal. The tour will last approximately 1 hour on site in total.