SoftICE presenting intelligent virtual prototyping at ECMS 2017

SoftICE members Robin T. Bye and Ibrahim A. Hameed will be presenting some recent research results on intelligent virtual prototyping of maritime winches in two scientific papers to be presented at the 31st European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS) 2017 in Budapest, Hungary, on 23–26 May. The papers are co-authored by the two abovementioned researchers together with SoftICE colleagues Ottar L. Osen and  Webjørn Rekdalsbakken, as well as Birger Skogeng Pedersen (Mechatronics Lab, NTNU):

  • Robin T. Bye, Ibrahim A. Hameed, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, and Ottar L. Osen. An intelligent winch prototyping tool. In Proceedings of the 31st European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS ’17), May 2017. Download pdf.
  • Ibrahim A. Hameed, Robin T. Bye, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, and Ottar L. Osen. Evolutionary winch design using an online winch prototyping tool. In Proceedings of the 31st European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS ’17), May 2017. Download pdf.

A Prezi presentation of the first paper is available here:

Interactive Prezi presentation: An Intelligent Winch Prototyping Tool (ECMS’17)The full papers are available for download here:  http://www.robinbye.com | Publications

The paper abstracts are provided at the end of this blog post.

Intelligent computer-automated design of cranes and winches

W build on our earlier work on intelligent computer-automated product design, where we have used methods from artificial intelligence (AI) such as genetic algorithms (GAs), particle swarm optimisation (PSO), and simulated annealing (SA) to optimise offshore crane design. Within a matter of only minutes, the algorithms were able to outperform the design of a real and delivered offshore crane with respect to some desired key performance indicators (KPIs). A human being would likely spend days or weeks to obtain the same results.

Generic and modular product optimization system.

Here, we focus on an intelligent winch prototyping tool (WPT):

Intelligent Winch Prototyping Tool (WPT)

We perform several test with various algorithms and are able to optimize a set of winch design parameter values that yield winch designs with suitable torque profiles:

Torque profiles for winch. The black profile has been optimized by means of a GA.

Abstract: An intelligent winch prototyping tool

In this paper we present a recently developed intelligent winch prototyping tool for ptimising the design of maritime winches, continuing our recent line of work using
artificial intelligence for intelligent computer-automated design of offshore cranes. The tool consists of three main components: (i) a winch calculator for determining key
performance indicators for a given winch design; (ii) a genetic algorithm that interrogates the winch calculator to optimise a chosen set of design parameters; and (iii) a web graphical user interface connected with (i) and (ii) such that winch designers can use it to manually design new winches or optimise the design by the click of a button. We demonstrate the feasibility of our work by a case study in which we improve the torque profiles of a default winch design by means of optimisation. Extending our generic and modular software framework for intelligent product optimisation, the winch calculator can easily be interfaced to external product optimisation clients by means of the HTTP and WebSocket protocols and a standardised JSON data format. In an accompanying paper submitted concurrently to this conference, we present one such client developed in Matlab that incorporates a variety of intelligent algorithms for the optimisation of maritime winch design.

Abstract: Evolutionary winch design using an online winch prototyping tool

This paper extends the work of a concurrent paper on an intelligent winch prototyping tool (WPT) that is part of a generic and modular software framework for intelligent computer-automated product design. Within this framework, we have implemented a Matlab winch optimisation client (MWOC) that connects to the WPT and employs four evolutionary optimisation algorithms to optimise winch design. The four algorithms we employ are (i) a genetic algorithm (GA), (ii) particle swarm optimisation (PSO), (iii) simulated annealing (SA), and (iv) a multi-objective optimisation genetic algorithm (MOOGA). Here, we explore the capabilities of MWOC in a case study where we show that given a set of design guidelines and a suitable objective function based on these guidelines, we are able to optimise a particular winch design with respect to some desired design criteria. Our research has taken place in close cooperation with two maritime industrial partners, Seaonics AS and ICD Software AS, through two innovation and research projects on applying artificial intelligence for intelligent computer-automated design of maritime equipment such as offshore cranes and maritime
winches.

More information

We have previously presented some details of our work on intelligent virtual prototyping of cranes and winches in earlier blog posts:

Acknowledgements

The SoftICE lab at NTNU in Ålesund wishes to thank ICD Software AS for their contribution in the software development process, and Seaonics AS for providing
documentation and insight into the design and manufacturing process of offshore cranes. We are also grateful for the support provided by Regionalt Forskningsfond
(RFF) Midt-Norge and the Research Council of Norway through the VRI research projects Artificial Intelligence for Crane Design (Kunstig intelligens for krandesign
(KIK)), grant no. 241238, and Artificial Intelligence for Winch Design (Kunstig intelligens for vinsjdesign (KIV)), grant no. 249171.

Collaboration?

Parties interested in research collaboration, testing our software, or more information are encouraged to contact us.

The SoftICE Lab

SoftICE presents intelligent virtual prototyping and mind control at ECMS 2016

SoftICE members Robin T. Bye, Ottar L. Osen, and Ibrahim A. Hameed will be presenting flaming hot research in four scientific papers to be presented at the 30th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS) 2016 to be hold in Regensburg, Germany on 31 May — 3 June. The papers are co-authored by the three abovementioned researchers together with colleagues Hans Georg Schaathun and Birger Skogeng Pedersen (NTNU in Ålesund), Adrian Rutle (University College of Bergen), Filippo Sanfilippo (NTNU in Trondheim), and bachelor graduates Rolf-Magnus Hjørungdal (NTNU in Ålesund) and Tom Verplaetse (Ghent University).

Best paper award?

All four papers received excellent reviews by three independent reviewers, with one paper being nominated for the Best Paper Award and another paper being nominated for both Best Paper Award and Best Student Paper Award. Fingers crossed!

Intelligent computer-automated product design

Two of the papers relate to intelligent computer-automated product design, exemplified by a case study where we use methods from artificial intelligence (AI) such as genetic algorithms (GAs), particle swarm optimisation (PSO), and simulated annealing (SA) to optimise offshore crane design. Within a matter of only minutes, the algorithms are able to outperform the design of a real and delivered offshore crane with respect to some desired key performance indicators (KPIs). A human being would likelly spend days or weeks to obtain the same results.

nomenclature

Main components and load chart of a typical offshore crane.

EEG brain control (“mind control”)

The other two papers relate to EEG brain control, commonly known as “mind control,” for rehabilitation of stroke patients and for control of motorised, electrical wheelchairs.

These papers build on the work done during the bachelor thesis projects by Tom Verplaetse (Interfacing an EEG headset with a 3D simulation for rehabilitation in partially paraplegic stroke victims) and by Rolf-Magnus Hjørungdal and fellow students Fredrik Hoel Helgesen and Daniel Nedregård (Man/machine interaction through EEG).

EEG

Emotiv EPOC EEG headset for brain control.

More information

We have previously presented some details of our work in earlier blog posts:

Presentations, abstracts, and full papers

The titles of the four papers are listed further below, with abstracts, papers, and presentations readily available for download as indicated (also available here: http://robinbye.com | Publications).

Collaboration?

Parties interested in research collaboration, testing our software, or more information are encouraged to contact us.

— SoftICE lab

List of ECMS 2016 papers and presentations

  • Robin T. Bye, Ottar L. Osen, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, Ibrahim A. Hameed, and Hans Georg Schaathun. A software framework for intelligent computer-automated product design. In Proceedings of the 30th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS’16), pp. xx–yy, 2016. Download abstract | paperpresentation.
  • Ibrahim A. Hameed, Ottar L. Osen, Robin T. Bye, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, and Hans Georg Schaathun. Intelligent computer-automated crane design using an online crane prototyping tool. In Proceedings of the 30th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS’16), pp. xx–yy, 2016. Download abstract | paper | presentation.
  • Tom Verplaetse, Filippo Sanfilippo, Adrian Rutle, Ottar L. Osen, and Robin T. Bye. On Usage of EEG Brain Control for Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients. In Proceedings of the 30th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS’16), pp. xx–yy, 2016. Download abstract | paper | presentation.
  • Rolf-Magnus Hjørungdal, Filippo Sanfilippo, Ottar L. Osen, Adrian Rutle, and Robin T. Bye. A Game-based Learning Framework for Controlling Brain-Actuated Wheelchairs. In Proceedings of the 30th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS’16), pp. xx–yy, 2016. Download abstract | paper | presentation.

Seminar: A software framework for intelligent computer-automated product design

SoftICE member Robin T. Bye will today present recent research on intelligent computer-automated product design. The talk is called A software framework for intelligent computer-automated product design and is a based on a recent paper that will be presented at the 30th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS 2016) in Regensburg, Germany, in June. The paper has been co-authored with SoftICE members Ottar L. Osen, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, Ibrahim A. Hameed, and Hans Georg Schaathun.

The seminar is open for all and will take place in room Åse at 13.00 today 29 April 2016, NTNU in Ålesund main building.

This work is part of the research project Artificial Intelligence for Crane Design (Kunstig intelligens for krandesign (KIK)) funded by RFF/Research Council of Norway.

AIPOarchitecture

Architecture of software framework for intelligent computer-automated product design.

The abstract is included below.  Continue reading

EEG brain control for ALS and stroke patients

EEG

Emotiv Epoc EEG headset

In the SoftICE lab, we have had several bachelor projects over the years that have examined how to use inexpensive commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electroencephalography (EEG) equipment to enable brain control in virtual environments. Specifically, we have been using the scientific version of the Emotiv Epoc EEG headset, which has 14 sensors that measure raw EEG signals on top of the human scalp. These signals can be filtered (converted) in real-time to suitable control signals via the Emotiv software and passed on to virtual environments in the 3D game engine Unity, thus enabling real-time control of objects and characters in a virtual world only by the use of brain waves.

Lerpz

Screenshot of the Unity demo game Lerpz Escapes

In the first bachelor project we ran as early as 2011, our students were able to demonstrate a proof of concept by developing an interface between readings from the EEG headset and a demo game in Unity called Lerpz Escapes. After some training sessions for finetuning of personal Emotiv control profiles (the Emotiv control software needs to ‘learn’ the EEG signals of each individual user), the students were able to control a 3D third-person character in the computer game only by using their mind.

A YouTube video demonstrating the results is shown below:

This year, we have had two bachelor projects going one step further from this initial work.

The first project was made by a group consisting of students Fredrik Hoel Helgesen, Rolf-Magnus Hjørungdal, and Daniel Nedregård, and was supervised by AAUC staff Robin T. Bye and Anders Sætersmoen, with additional insights provided by staff members Filippo Sanfilippo and Hans Georg Schaathun. The students used Unity to develop a virtual reality environment that can serve as a training platform for controlling a motorised wheelchair only by means of brain waves (EEG). Their work was inspired by patients who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and therefore gradually become completely paralysed and unable to control conventional electric wheelchairs using their hands or chin. Following a set of training sessions, users develop their brain control skills and are able to control a motorised wheelchair in realistic virtual environments with streets, buildings, pedestrians, trees, and so on.

The group also did some preliminary work using artificial neural networks to map the neural EEG signals to appropriate motor commands as well as examine using the Oculus Rift for virtual reality.

The source code is freely available on GitHub. The usual standards for citing, using and modifying scientific intellectual property apply.

A YouTube video demonstrating the results is show below:

The second project was made by international exchange student Tom Verplaetse (originally at University College Ghent, Belgium) and supervised by AAUC staff Robin T. Bye and Filippo Sanfilippo. Tom examined how one can use EEG control as a new rehabilitation technique for stroke victims who have lost the ability to move a single hand or both of their hands, a condition called partial paraplegia. Partial paraplegia can be healed by months or sometimes years of physical therapy and other therapies, and developing new rehabilitation techniques is an active field of research worldwide. In the work of Tom, the idea was to create a 3D environment in which the rehabilitating patient can move a visual representation of the paraplegic hand, thus achieving the same effect as that of mirror therapy. Mirror therapy relies on the ability to trick the brain into thinking it can move a hand that is not really there but is merely a visual representation.

The software developed in this project provides a 3D representation of that hand and lets the brain control it by using its own brain waves. Clever use of visual stimulation at specific frequencies by means of a flickering light led to steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) that clearly enhanced both alpha and beta EEG activity.

Hopefully, this process of brain pattern recognition and brain activation of the specific regions needed for motor function could lead to a faster and more efficient rehabilitation process, without much need of expensive equipment or human helpers such as physioterapeuts or nurses.

Source code can be obtained upon request.

A YouTube video demonstrating the results is shown below:

For more information, please contact SoftICE member Robin T. Bye.

 

Seminar: Environmental Disasters from Grounding Accidents: A Case Study of Tugboat Positioning along the Norwegian Coast

SoftICE member Robin T. Bye together with PhD student Brice Assimizele will today present an introductory talk by Bye on the DRAMA research project as well as recent research on tug fleet optimisation (TFO). The main talk is by Assimizele and is called Environmental Disasters from Grounding Accidents: A Case Study of Tugboat Positioning along the Norwegian Coast. The talk is based on a recent research results documented in a journal paper manuscript co-authored by Brice Assimizele, Johannes Royset, Robin T. Bye, and Johan Oppen and soon to be submitted to a world-renowned journal.

The seminar is open for all and will take place in room Borgundfjorden at 12.30 today 13 May 2015, AAUC main building.

This work is part of the PhD research of Brice Assimizele and builds on previous DRAMA research.

To read more about the paper, please see the abstract is included below.  Continue reading

Seminar: A Computer-automated Design Tool for Intelligent Virtual Prototyping of Offshore Cranes

SoftICE member Robin T. Bye will today present recent research on virtual prototyping of offshore cranes. The talk is called A Computer-automated Design Tool for Intelligent Virtual Prototyping of Offshore Cranes and is a based on a recent paper that will be presented at the 29th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS 2015) in Varna, Bulgary, late May.

The seminar is open for all and will take place in room Borgundfjorden at 12.30 today 6 May 2015, AAUC main building.

This work is part of the research project Artificial Intelligence for Crane Design (Kunstig intelligens for krandesign (KIK)) funded by RFF/Research Council of Norway.

To read more about the paper, see this blog post. The abstract is included below.  Continue reading

ONSITE – Design driven field studies for safer demanding marine operations

SoftICE takes part in the ONSITE project, which is headed by the Ocean Industries Concept Lab at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. We had the kick-off meeting 24 March 2015 with project partners from DNV GL, Ulstein Group, and Pon Power AS.

ONSITE seeks to strengthen the Norwegian maritime industry by securing an efficient feedback loop between field studies carried out in maritime operations and design processes for new ships and equipment onshore. SoftICE’s role is to develop data models and the software architecture to support gathering, management, and retrieval of field data.

Field studies is a diverse data source. We have to handle video and audio streams, field notes, narratives, still images, drawings and sketches, as well as numeric data from sensors and ship instruments. Post-field research may add annotations and cross-references to the data set, and these have to be managed as well. The user will have relate data from multiple field studies to study particular phenomena.

Our work will apply modern technologies including semantic web, ontologies, multimedia metadata, et cetera to support field data retrieval. We will consider both the linking of data associated with the same scene in a given field studies, and the linking of field data with contextual models, such as models of the operation or the ship, so that the designer can easily find information relating to particular tasks, roles, or work stations.

We still have an an opening for a PhD candidate to work on this project. The application deadline is 14 April 2015. See the advert for further details.

DRAMA project completed

The research project Dynamic Resource Allocation with Maritime Application (DRAMA) was funded by Regionalt Forskningsfond (RFF) Midt-Norge and the Research Council of Norway,  grant no. ES504913. A complete final report can be downloaded here.

The project was officially ended during summer 2014, although work has continued since then through a PhD candidate, Brice Assimizele, and the professor scholarship of the project manager, Robin T. Bye.

Please visit the DRAMA website to read more!


The main goal of the project was to develop new and stringent algorithms for fleet optimisation based on methods from areas such as artificial intelligence, cybernetics, stochastic optimisation, and others.

vardovts

Figure 1: Ship traffic along pink corridor along northern Norwegian coast. NOR VTS is the vessel traffic service centre in Vardø.

In particular, the project focussed on the the tug vessel preparedness in the north of Norway (see Figure 1). Annually more than 1500 high risk ships transit along the Norwegian coast, out of which about 300 carry oil or petroleum-related cargo. A fleet of three tugs as depicted in Figure 3 (two tugs since January 2014) need to be dynamically positioned along the coast in order to reduce the risk of oil tankers or other ships causing oil spill from drift grounding accidents.

tugs

Figure 2: The tug fleet of the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Continue reading