Outdoor Tests at MHWirth

Mounting of the sensors at MHWirth.

Inside the driller’s cabin, from left to right: Joacim Dybedal, Atle Aalerud and Kai Erik Nilsen.

During the week August 13-17 the 3D sensors used in the work-package WP3 Robotics and Autonomy will be running 24/7 in the outdoor testing tower at MHWirth, Dvergsnes, Kristiansand. The goal of the tests is to test the multiple sensor packages in a more realistic environment compared to the lab at the University, as well as to generate a large dataset which could be used by the other partners in the project. Initially, the dataset will be used for sensor calibration and human motion detection.

Two Master students (Kai Erik Nilsen and Wei Zhao) assisted the PhD candidates by building the 3D sensor enclosure and capturing data from outdoor tests during the summer of 2018.

IEEE/ASME Best Paper Award


The paper “Visual Marker Guided Point Cloud Registration in a Large Multi-Sensor Industrial Robot Cell” by Erind Ujkani, Joacim Dybedal, Atle Aalerud, Knut Berg Kaldestad and Geir Hovland received the Best Applications Paper Award at the IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications (MESA) in Oulu, Finland, July 2-4.

Photos from the 4th Annual Conference

Award winners Thomas Meyer and Rune Schlanbusch for submitting innovative idea.

Award winners Joacim Dybedal and Atle Aalerud for submitting innovative idea.

Keynote speaker day 1: Hans-Michael Krause, Director Market and Product Management PLC and IoT Systems, Bosch Rexroth, Title of the talk: “OPC UA over TSN in Industrial Automation”

Lunch on Day 1, Campus Grimstad.

Poster session, Day 1.

Poster session, Day 1.

WP1-Leader Torben Ole Andersen in deep thought.

Lasse Schumann (Bosch Rexroth), Sondre Sanden Tørdal (UiA) and Jing Zhou (UiA) testing out the Xbox controller for the vessel-to-vessel-crane experiment.

Poster Session, Day 2.

WP5-Leader Thomas Meyer (Teknova), Condition Monitoring Techniques.

SFI Offshore Mechatronics, Group Photo, Day 2.

WP2 and WP4-Leader, Olav Egeland (NTNU): Motion Compensation and Modeling and Simulation.

PhD Candidate Shaun Falconer (UiA) presenting his work on fibre ropes using the CBOS machine.

WP6-Leader Baltasar B. Lozano (UiA), Data Analytics, IT Integration and Big Data.

Keynote Speaker, Day 2, Arnt Aske (GCE NODE) challenging the researchers in SFI Offshore Mechatronics to become more innovative and customer focused.

PhD Candidate Atle Aalerud (UiA) demonstrating his experimental work on 3D point clouds and autonomy.

Ardor/Ignis Hackaton Completed


The Ardor/Ignis Hackaton at Scandic Bystranda Hotel in Kristiansand completed successfully on March 22 with participants from UiA, ABB and other guests from abroad. The teacher, Lior Yaffe from Israel, went through some of the key features of the Ardor/Ignis blockchain technology. Perhaps the most interesting feature for the participants was development of server side AddOns using IntelliJ IDEA, a Java-based integrated development environment for developing computer software. In addition, node js was used to interface functionality with an Ardor node.

The entire day was filmed with HD video and several YouTube micro-learning clips will be made available to the public based on this workshop organised by SFI Offshore Mechatronics.

See also https://medium.com/@lyaffe/reflections-on-the-ardor-workshop-1705695a0f45

Cooperation Gives a Gain

Sondre Sanden Tørdal and Philipp Schubert are among the PhD candidates who use the motion-laboratory at UiA in their research work and when working on problems relevant for industry.

By Siri Andresen


For two weeks the PhD candidates Sondre Sanden Tørdal (UiA) and Philipp Schubert (RWTH Achen) have worked intensively in UiAs Motion Lab at Campus Grimstad, before Schubert returned to Achen. The solution the PhD candidates are developing can very likely become integrated in a future product for one or more of the partner companies in the research centre SFI Offshore Mechatronics.

Benefits at several levels
The centre for research-driven innovation, SFI Offshore Mechatronics, works on developing tools and methods which are relevant for industry. The centre leader Geir Hovland sees a large value in this type of cooperation.

– It results in benefits at several levels. The PhD candidates get to exchange ideas and experiences, UiA gets a joint publication with RWTH Achen, and the industry gets to see the potensial in a potential new product, says Hovland.

The aim with the study is to dampen out oscillations in a swinging load in a crane because this can increase the so-called weather window when transfering loads between two vessels in offshore operations. Swinging loads is one of several problems which need to be researched to meet a future with increased leves of autonomous offshore operations. Solutions for damping out oscillations in loads can, in addition to increasing the weather window, also increase safety and efficiency. Sondre Tørdal, who also holds a 20% position in the SFI partner company MacGregor in parallel with his PhD studies, hopes to see the developed solution in a future product one day.

– The research which is done here has a direct transfer value for the industry. They can potentially make use of the research and develop products where the developed technology could be incorporated, he says.



Tørdal and Schubert are both PhD candidates through the SFI. The plan, as a first step, a joint publication based on this work – and see possibilities for future collaboration afterwards. Geir Hovland would like to see more of this type of collaboration, both with international and Norwegian partners.

World-Class Equipment

The Motion Laboratory at UiA is unique in the academic world, and consists of among other equipment two Stewart platforms which are used to simulate ship motions. I additions to these machines, we have an industrial robot with an open controller and advanced measurement equipment based on laser and camera technologies. The robot is currently used to simulate a crane mounted on a vessel. The laboratory was opened at the end of 2013 with the goal of increased collaboration between UiA and industry. Phillipp Schubert has visited UiAs Motion Lab before and has looked forward to working here.

PhD candidate Philipp Schubert (RWTH Achen)

– What is cool with this system is that “real” data is used, not only data from a simulation, and I think the companies see this as more “authentic”. Here you have a truly unique test facility which can give you more realistic parameters for your study compared to simulations only. The experiments and measurements we do are perhaps the closest we could do compared to an actual implementation on two vessels.

Sondre Tørdal agrees;

– If you want to the motion compensation experiments this is the place to do it. We have a unique test facility and we are working on realistic constraints. In a simulation a mathematical model is used to simulate the problem. This model is then used to develop potential solutions to the problem. In other words, the solution will often match well with what has been simulated, but you will normally not be able to include all realistic parameters in your model compared to data from the test facility. And the missing of some realistic parameters may affect the results in your study.



Internationalisation through the PhD candidates

Strengthening of our international networks is a significant priority in UiAs strategy for 2016-2020, and increased mobility of our PhD candidates is one of the concrete measures which we encourage. RWTH Aachen participates in SFI Offshore Mechatronics with two institutes. Philipp Schubert is satisfied with the research stay in Grimstad and encourages others to do the same.

WP5 December Reference Group Meeting in Boxtel, Netherlands


Dear all,

The 14th SFIWP5 reference group meeting on the 13th of December 2018 will take place at Bosch Rexroth cylinder factory. This is an all-day event and the perfect place to start the new subtask 5.6, monitoring of cylinders.

For the one wanting to attend please take your plane tickets as soon as possible. There is a KRS-AMS flight at 0620 retuning back the same day at 2030 for 3000 NOK. Driving distance from the AMS airport to Boxtel is about 1.5 hours.

All the best,
Thomas Meyer.
WP5 Leader

New PhD Position in WP3 Advertised



Title: PhD Research Fellow in Instrumentation and real-time control of long-reach, light-weight arm intended for use offshore
Affiliation: University of Agder
Application deadline: May 31, 2018.

The successful candidate will join the rest of the team in WP3 Robotics and Autonomy, see https://sfi.mechatronics.no/?page_id=38

Candidates from industry as well as candidates with a fresh Masters degree in Robotics, Mechatronics or related field are encouraged to apply.