Development and evaluation of AI-enabled planning algorithms for timber-harvesting machines using Vortex

Timber-harvesting is an important industry for Canada. For tree-cutting specifically, the industry employs large heavy-duty machines with crane-like manipulator arms which are driven by trained operators. The work involved in operating these machines is tiring, involves long hours in harsh conditions and as a result, there is presently a labour shortage for operators. It is therefore imperative to introduce AI and robotics into the operation of these machines in order to reduce the workload on the operators.

Parallel multibody solver coupling algorithms

This project concerns the efficient simulation of constrained-multi body systems with applications in training simulations. For instance, a crane on a construction site can be modeled and simulated as a collection of rigid bodies connected by rotational joints. Simulation of contact and friction is similar but a challenge because the force is bounded (i.e., forces are not allowed to act like glue and can only push objects apart). When there are large numbers of bodies in a simulation, with many frictional contacts, these systems can be challenging to
solve.