Winnipeg-based Cypher Environmental is determined to put an end to the choking dust clouds on unpaved roads seen every day across rural and Northern Manitoba.
Though the problem may seem a minor visual blight, the impact is great: heavy trucks barreling down unpaved roads are at greater risk of rollover from the unstable ground; and nearby lakes and streams can suffer nutrient depletion, killing the natural wildlife.
In response, local researchers and companies have partnered to develop a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They hope to develop UAVs — commonly known as drones — that are robust enough to transport large cargo across vast distances without needing a pilot or GPS.
Alberta-based BMI Technologies manufactures onboard sensor systems which track the usage of forklifts. But the company wanted to improve the technology to allow for automatic data analysis across a large fleet of vehicles, with uplink to a central computer system.
BMI was without an in-house research or engineering department, but learned of the Mitacs Accelerate program from CEO Arvind Gupta during a chance meeting at a social event in Vancouver.
Virtual Marine Technology (VMT) is an SME that develops simulators for survival craft, fast response craft and high speed electronic navigation training. Its goal is to improve the safety of personnel at sea by allowing trainees to practice in high risk emergency situations using a safe and effective simulation. As a spin-off company from Memorial University of Newfoundland, VMT is grounded in research and constantly seeking ways to innovate. VMT currently employs 24 full time staff and is part of a growing simulation community in Newfoundland and Labrador.