Client Success

Client Success Selector

Here's how we've helped just a few of our clients. For more information on these stories, or to obtain additional client references, contact us at any time.

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Client Success

Allseas Group
Client Success: Allseas Group
Crane Institute of America
Crane Institute of America Improves Training with Vortex Simulator
Crane Service Industries
Crane Service Industries Provides Top-notch Training with Vortex
Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal
Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal Reports Exceptional Productivity Boost with Vortex Simulators
Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal
FACT Operators to Train on Vortex Simulators Ahead of STS Crane Deployment
J.R. Merritt
Mobile Interactive Crane Simulation: The Merritt Synergy System
Keyano College
Keyano College: 9 Vortex Simulator Benefits
LEGO Group
Vortex Powers LEGO Digital Designer
Mammoet
Mammoet Assures PTC Operator Safety with Vortex Simulator
MARIN
Vortex provides MARIN with platform for real innovation
Napier Port
Unique Simulator Supporting Napier Port Expansion
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station: Success with Vortex
Prolad Experts
Vortex Provides New Perspectives on Equipment Accident Investigation
Quasset
Vortex Simulates Inspection Robots for Game-changing PETROBOT Project
SANLAB Simulation
Client Case Study: SANLAB Simulation
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
SAIT Training Program Engages Student Operators with "Transformational" Vortex Simulators
ZHD Stevedores
Client Case Study: ZHD Stevedores
Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space uses Vortex for EOD Robot Training Simulation
Babcock
Babcock Delivers Just-in-time Training with Vortex
Barrow Neurological Institute
Vortex Selected for Spinal Surgery Medical Simulation with Barrow Neurological Institute
Battelle Memorial Institute
Battelle Memorial Institute: UGV Training Simulation
BNSF Railway
BNSF Railway Selects Vortex Crane Simulators for Operational Training
British Petroleum
BP Selects Vortex Excavator Simulator
British Petroleum
BP Puts Vortex Crane Simulators to Work
Bruce Power
Bruce Power Improves Training Efficiency with Vortex Crane Simulator
Bruce Power
Bruce Power Selects Vortex for Nuclear Refueling Simulator
CAE
CAE Terra Mining Simulators Leveraging Vortex Dynamics
Cairo University
Cairo University's Faculty of Computers and Information Selects Vortex
Canadian Space Agency
Canadian Space Agency Simulates Planetary Rovers with Vortex
Cassidian
Cassidian selects Vortex for EOD Robot Training Simulation
Changsha University of Science & Technology
Changsha University of Science & Tech Selects Vortex for Planetary Robotics
CM Labs, Makemedia
Vortex Partners with Makemedia to Simulate Lunar Electric Rover Concept Vehicle
CONTEX
Vortex Drives M113 Armored Personnel Carrier Simulator for Enhanced Training
Defence Research & Development Canada
Vortex Advances Robotics Design and Mobility for Defense Applications
Elbit Systems
Vortex Provides Ground Vehicle Simulation to Elbit Systems
FMC Schilling Robotics
Powered by Vortex: FMC Schilling Robotics ROV Pilot Training Simulator
FMC Schilling Robotics
FMC Schilling Robotics Installs First Vortex ROV Simulator in Singapore
Georgia State University
Vortex Powers Virtual World for Neuromechanical and Biomechanical Simulation
Harbin Institute of Technology
Vortex Selected by Harbin Institute of Technology's Research Center of Aerospace Mechanism and Control
Institute of Mathematical Machines
IMM Uses Vortex Dynamics to Simulate EOD Robots for TIRAMISU Project
IUOE Local 400 Montana
IUOE Local 400 Montana Acquires Vortex Crane Simulator
JC International
JC Training Centre Selects Vortex for Mobile Crane Operator Training
Jilin University
Jilin University Selects Vortex for Simulation of Robotics and Heavy Equipment
Keyano College
Keyano College Develops Tower Crane Training Program
Kiewit
Kiewit Selects Vortex Crane Simulators for Comprehensive Crane Training
Liebherr
Liebherr Selects Vortex for Offshore and Port Crane Simulator
MARIN
Netherlands' MARIN selects Vortex for Crane Simulation
McGill University
McGill University Using Vortex for Modelling Human Motion
NASA
NASA Lunar Micro-Rover Simulator Developed with Vortex
NC Services Group
NC Services Group in Alberta Builds Skills with Vortex
NTNU
Norwegian University of Science and Technology Selects Vortex for Simulation of Ice Flows
OETIO
CM Labs Delivers Concrete Pump Operator Training Simulator to OETIO
OETIO
CM Labs Delivers Lattice Boom Crawler Crane Simulator to OETIO
OETIO
Vortex Upgrades OETIO Simulators with Tandem Lift, Signaler Training, and More
OETIO
CM Labs starts work on Liebherr Drill Rig Simulator for OETIO
OETIO
OETIO and Vortex Partner for Wind Turbine Construction Training
Offshore Crane Partnership
Vortex, PNI Training, Antycip Partner for Offshore Crane Operator Training Solution
Perry Slingsby Systems
CM Labs Develops ROV Training Simulator for Perry Slingsby Systems
RUAG
RUAG Powers Virtual Driver Training with Vortex
RWTH Aachen University
RWTH Aachen University Advances Deformable Terrain Research with Vortex
Safety Resources Unlimited
SRU Prepares Crane Operators for OSHA Regulations
Sleipnir Lift Management
Client Case Study: Sleipnir Lift Management
Tohoku University
Tohoku University Space Robotics Lab Selects Vortex for Planetary Robotics
University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia uses Vortex for Physics-based Character Simulation
University of Maryland, Energetics Technology Center
UMD and ETC Team Use Vortex to Simulate "Self-taught" Vehicle
University of Tuebingen
University of Tuebingen Research Team Using Vortex to Develop "Cognitive" Robotic Systems
University of Victoria
University of Victoria and CM Labs to Collaborate on NSERC-Funded Haptics Research
University of Western Ontario
University of Western Ontario Selects Vortex for Vehicle Simulation
Velosi Certification LLC
Velosi Selects Vortex Crane Simulator for Crane Operator Certification Training
XPI
XPI Selects Vortex for UK MoD Simulator Research

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Mobile Interactive Crane Simulation: The Merritt Synergy System

November 18, 2016

J.R. Merritt was looking for a way for potential clients to test their joystick controls and seating systems in interactive applications that were relevant to their industry.

In particular, they wanted to highlight the adjustability of their chair systems with integrated operator controls. This adjustability promotes operator comfort and efficiency, and therefore productivity.

However, these benefits can only truly be experienced in the context of actual work — asking a client to operate a disconnected joystick is like asking a driver to imagine the performance of a car while sitting in the show room, rather than actually taking it out for a test drive.

J.R. Merritt determined that integrating their controls with realistic crane simulations would not only provide potential clients with a sense of interactivity and purpose – it would also be the best way of conveying the real on-the-job adjustability of their seating systems, and the quality of their solutions in action.

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Vortex provides MARIN with platform for real innovation

August 03, 2016

Anyone who spends time trying to get any work done on or under the ocean's surface knows it can be daunting. With no light below 4 km, the subsea environment is darker than deep space. And considering the extreme pressures, it’s just about as friendly.

Topside, conditions are equally inhospitable, with frigid temperatures, sea ice, high winds, and formidable offshore waves.

Training for operations under these conditions needs to be designed on the assumption that mother nature, human error, and Murphy's law are going to combine in the worst possible way at the worst possible time. Being prepared is essential.

MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, thrives on these challenges. The institute is a world leader in hydrodynamic and nautical research and development.

"When we wake up in the morning," says Noel Bovens, "we basically ask ourselves: What is it we can't do yet that the maritime sector needs?"

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Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station: Success with Vortex

June 10, 2016

In terms of power output, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station has been the USA’s largest nuclear plant since 1992. 

The plant’s objective is to lead the industry — not only in terms of raw output, but also in knowledge, training, and employee engagement: Palo Verde has learned through experience that the safest plants are also the best operating plants.

"With that mandate in my back pocket," says Palo Verde Rigging Training Instructor Bob Armstead, “I’m looking to provide the most effective training possible. I am not going to spare any expense for training in any way, shape, or form.”

Indeed, preventing lift incidents is a constant focus for the former (retired) USAF Airman. Like every lift professional in the US nuclear sector, he was particularly troubled by a March 2013 incident at Arkansas Nuclear One that involved the collapse of a lifting rig being used to move a 600-ton main generator stator. The failure resulted in one fatality and several injuries.

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SAIT Training Program Engages Student Operators with "Transformational" Vortex Simulators

February 08, 2016

As Associate Dean at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Polytechnic in Alberta, Jim Szautner has seen all kinds of student operators.

For some, heavy equipment operation is a calling. For others, it's an opportunity that's knocking at the right place and time.

And for others, it's an intimidating, back-against-the-wall prospect.

"This might be the first time some students are coming back to school in a number of years," says Jim — "their secondary experience might not have been super positive, so they might not have a lot of confidence coming in to the post-secondary environment."

In the case of these students, the Vortex Simulators are part of a "transformational experience" that Jim believes is central to the SAIT experience.

"Once they get on the Vortex Simulator," Jim says, "and gain the confidence that they can do it, it's actually quite amazing to watch — they surprise themselves and do far better than what they thought they were capable of.”

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Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal Reports Exceptional Productivity Boost with Vortex Simulators

September 02, 2015

Tony Couzner doesn’t cut corners when it comes to training the crane operators at Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal. The Terminal is investing heavily in an ambitious plan to boost productivity, with an annual throughput target of more than 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) over the long term. That’s why he needs to make sure his operators are ready to hit the ground running.

"Using the training simulator is already improving productivity and staff morale at the terminal," says Couzner. "Employees are able to gain a high level of operational proficiency with the 950 tonne cranes, before they go into live operations."

Lately, training time at the Terminal has decreased dramatically, and as the Terminal's Training Superintendent, Couzner couldn’t be happier.

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Keyano College: 9 Vortex Simulator Benefits

September 01, 2015

Located in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Keyano College provides specialised training to more than 2,800 full-time students and over 13,000 part-time students.The college offers a wide variety of programs, including certificate programs such as mechanical construction trades preparation, the heavy equipment technician trade, and power and process engineering.

Keyano College's Vortex Simulators are a valuable teaching tool for tower crane operation training, as well as training for mobile crane, crawler crane, and excavator operations.

Leslie Howlett is Keyano College's Mobile Simulator Instructor — "mobile" being a reference to the Vortex Simulator, not to him, although his career has taken him from Newfoundland to Alberta via Afghanistan and an array of other locations. With over 20 years of experience as a trainer, he's conditioned to seeing everything as a teaching opportunity.

Everyone's got their reasons for using a Vortex Simulator. Leslie shares his.

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Vortex Simulates Inspection Robots for Game-changing PETROBOT Project

August 21, 2015

In the petrochemical industry, the inspection of pressure vessels and storage tanks is currently being done by human inspectors working inside these assets.

For safety reasons, these assets are taken offline and decoupled from live sections of the plant during inspection, and extensively cleaned to remove all products that can emit flammable or harmful gases.

It’s a task that would be best suited to inspection robots, if those robots existed. But these robots don’t fully exist yet.

The PETROBOT project is changing that.

Download the story to learn more

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Vortex Powers LEGO Digital Designer

May 21, 2015

The LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) digital building system has proven hugely popular as a virtual play set, with thousands of online user-generated videos, design templates, and related forum discussions. 

It also has a more serious side — many of the sets and props for the recent LEGO movie were laid out in LDD as part of set design, and it’s also one of the core technologies in a recently developed Volvo manufacturing execution research platform.

The development team behind the LDD system was seeking an engine that would ensure the accuracy of the LDD simulations. 

The solution: Vortex simulation engine, designed to simulate multibody dynamics in real time.

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Crane Institute of America Improves Training with Vortex Simulator

May 05, 2015

"The underlying cause of most accidents," says Jim Headley, "is a failure to properly train and qualify personnel. That's why I want to provide the very best, the highest-quality training out there. I want to make sure we're helping the people in the field as best we can."

Jim Headley is president and director of Crane Institute of America (CIA). CIA has trained or certified over 100,000 equipment operators, inspectors, supervisors, trainers, riggers, and other safety personnel since 1987.

Find out how CIA uses a Vortex Simulator to improve its operator training program — download the story now.

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Crane Service Industries Provides Top-notch Training with Vortex

March 23, 2015

Crane Service Industries (CSI) trains for all lifting activities, including aerial and platform lifts, with a particular focus on cranes and crane operator certification.

To enhance its training program, CSI purchased a Vortex Trainer, CM Labs' table-top simulator, with a boom truck software training module. As a result, CSI has improved training delivery, and increased training throughput – all with reduced maintenance and fuel costs.

Download the full story to find out how [PDF]

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Client Success: Allseas Group

March 11, 2015

The world's largest vessel really does have to be seen up close to be believed.

The Pioneering Spirit, Allseas' heavy-lift and pipelay vessel, is so ambitious that it's only being delivered now, nearly 30 years after initial design. Due to the vessel's complexity — and to the continuous engineering required to build it — no simulation model has ever been developed to capture all the systems and physics of the $3-billion-dollar megastructure...

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Mammoet Assures PTC Operator Safety with Vortex Simulator

March 11, 2015

"That crane," says Mammoet's Mark Oterdoom, "is 100% our design and 100% our responsibility. So the training has to come from us. As far as liability goes, we need to know we've covered everything that could go wrong. That's why we have the simulator." 

That crane is Mammoet's platform containerized twin-ring crane (PTC) 140/200 DS. The PTC has a lifting capacity of 3200 mT and a range of up to 205 meters. It is the biggest crane of its kind, and takes up to six weeks to set up before the first lift gets underway.

The simulator is a Vortex simulator from CM Labs Simulations. It simulates the PTC 140/200 DS for trainee operators of the large cranes...

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Client Case Study: SANLAB Simulation

February 05, 2015

SANLAB Simulation is one of Turkey’s foremost developers of operator training simulators, including simulators for construction machinery, cranes, ground vehicles, and earthmoving equipment.

SANLAB’s simulators help operators safely and effectively train in a risk-free environment. They feature real-world situations, including job site hazards, safety violations, hand signals, equipment malfunctions, performance metrics, and plug-and-play replica machine controls.

The fast-growing SANLAB team boasts multidisciplinary expertise in physics, mathematics, computer graphics, visualization, robotics, and engineering. The team has extensive experience in simulation design, development, software, and modeling.

Evren Emre founded SANLAB in 2009, and as the company's CEO, he focuses on using the best technology possible to develop his training simulators. In 2012, as the SANLAB team was developing a backhoe loader training simulator for a client, Emre came across a CM Labs Simulations research paper on soil deformation simulation. Impressed by CM Labs' innovative approach to earthmoving simulation, he got in touch to explore the option of using the company's Vortex simulation engine in SANLAB's simulators ...

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Vortex Provides New Perspectives on Equipment Accident Investigation

November 17, 2014

Serge-André Meunier is a Montreal (Quebec)-based forensic engineer. His investigative brief ranges from vehicle and motorized equipment fire and collisions to mechanical failures and tip-overs.

Real-life forensic investigations are rarely as glamorous as they look on TV. On TV, there is an unmuddied trajectory from the drawing board to the smoking gun. In real life, it's not so much a trajectory as a series of iterations.

Meunier is comfortable at the drawing board. "Sometimes the bull's eye is elusive," he says. "You have to be very cautious."

In 2013, a telescopic handler tipover during inspection work on an highway overpass structure left one worker dead and two others injured.

Download the full story now [PDF]

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Unique Simulator Supporting Napier Port Expansion

November 17, 2014

New Zealand-based Napier Port has announced that it is acquiring an immersive equipment training simulator from CM Labs Simulations (Montreal, Canada).

CM Labs is providing a high-fidelity Vortex simulator to simulate key Port Napier equipment, including a mobile harbour crane and a ship's gear crane.

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FACT Operators to Train on Vortex Simulators Ahead of STS Crane Deployment

October 31, 2014

CM Labs Simulations have been awarded a contract to provide Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal (FACT) with two high-fidelity Vortex simulators for port equipment  operator training.

The simulators replicate new STS cranes scheduled for Q1 2015 delivery to the terminal, and will assure operator readiness prior to full commissioning of the cranes. 

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Client Case Study: ZHD Stevedores

October 31, 2014

ZHD Stevedores' Alain Bornet likes to tell a story about some of the more unusual "experiments" his company is willing to conduct for customers.

The story ends with an emphatic "and that's why their wood pellets don't catch fire anymore."

But the real punch line is that ZHD now holds a major share of the Rotterdam wood pellet stevedoring and storage market, versus other competitors.

Bornet, who heads ZHD's business development, has a track record of exploring new ideas and implementing them for competitive advantage. However, ZHD is not immune to the training challenges faced by port terminal operators all over the world.

"As a stevedoring company you need skilled crane drivers," says Bornet. "But in order to get a crane driver you need a crane. And you can't practice on a crane if the product is too difficult or there's no ships. The amount of hours you can spend training people in reality is too limited."

As he mulled over the challenge of finding and training skilled operators, Bornet happened to try a crane simulator at another stevedoring company.

"If you see what kind of money is spent on training crane drivers on real cranes, the budget is just insane. The simulator opened my eyes," he says. "I thought, this is the way to start training people." ...

Download the full story now [PDF]

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Client Case Study: Sleipnir Lift Management

May 28, 2014

When Roger McGroty founded Sleipnir Lift Management in 2005, he knew simulators would play a vital part in achieving one of the company’s most important goals. 

That goal was simple: “No person gets hurt.”

Saying it is easy. Achieving it is not. Sleipnir provides training, project planning, and supervision to the on-shore and offshore lifting industry, which has had its share of work-related injuries and fatalities.

“I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years, and I’ve seen real challenges with training offshore,” McGroty says. “But over the last 15 years or so, it’s become obvious to oil and gas operators, trainers, regulators, governments, that offshore is a dangerous environment.”

The danger is acute in the context of a global skills shortage triggered by an aging workforce. In addition, offshore energy exploration now ventures into remote environments that not long ago would have been considered too hostile to be viable—and where on-the-job training can put lives at risk.

“So how do you introduce someone to that training?” McGroty asks. “How do you bring them up to speed? There’s a need to train people in a safe environment before we expose them to a dangerous setting.”

Roger McGroty’s search for a suitable training simulator took him all over the world. 

“We wanted something that was industrial strength,” he says. “People spend a lot of money to use the sims, and to have it down or not working, which is the case with a lot of the simulators we researched, we didn’t want that to be an option.”

Engineering-grade quality was key for McGroty because he was planning to deploy a full team-training scenario, with multiple personnel stations.

A glitch in any of the stations would jeopardize training effectiveness for the entire team ...

Download the full story now [PDF]

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FMC Schilling Robotics Installs First Vortex ROV Simulator in Singapore

November 04, 2013

CM Labs, together with FMC Schilling Robotics, recently installed the latest Vortex ROV simulator technology at a maritime training institute in Singapore for ROV pilot training.

The ROV simulator sets a new standard for fidelity and operational training capabilities. It is fully integrated with FMC Schilling control systems and provides extensive ROV pilot training in subsea intervention work.

Training exercises include FM Installation Seal Test, HP Cap Retrieval, SCM Retrieval, and UCON Installation.

The simulator provides superb 3D visuals, and realistic recreation of environmental conditions makes the simulation look and feel like the real deep-water environment.

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Powered by Vortex: FMC Schilling Robotics ROV Pilot Training Simulator

November 03, 2013

FMC Technologies Schilling Robotics is the world's leading supplier of subsea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), manipulator systems, and subsea control systems. The company has a sterling reputation as a supplier of robotic products, primarily for the subsea oil and gas industry.

FMC Schilling Robotics also engineers and manufactures high-quality simulators for ROV pilot training. 

When they developed their newest generation of ROV simulators, they wanted to ensure that they reflected the latest in Schilling Robotics ROV capabilities.

Along with new simulation models and scenarios, they were particularly interested in the possibility of dynamically linking simulated cranes, vessels, and ROVs, to provide situation-based team-training capabilities. They also wanted more training scenarios to simulate equipment faults, and more interactions between pilots and simulation assets.

Unfortunately, the limitations of their current simulation software meant these items would not be fulfilled without invoking significant time and expense. Steve Cohan, FMC Schilling Robotics' Vice President of Controls Technology, needed to find an alternative ...

Download the full story now [PDF]

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Canadian Space Agency Simulates Planetary Rovers with Vortex

November 02, 2013

These are exciting times for space exploration.

It's entering a new era characterized by deeper space activity, greater surface-based focus, more human-robotic collaboration, and broader end-user participation.

To achieve this, ever more capable tools for mission planning, robotic design, operations, and data management are required, with a growing interest in integrated end-to-end systems.

CM Labs was recently awarded the contract for "Exploration Core – Exploration Surface Mobility (ESM) Simulation" from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

The project develops the capability for the virtual testing of robotic concept vehicles and simulation of rover mission scenarios.

It integrates rover dynamic simulation and simulating the interaction with the environment to predict performance.

The simulation platform uses plug-in software technology developed for the CSA's Symphony mission planning environment.

The Vortex plug-in is flexible, allowing different rovers and different rover configurations to be easily integrated into a single simulation environment.

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Airbus Defence and Space uses Vortex for EOD Robot Training Simulation

November 01, 2013

The safety of life is one of the most important issues in the field of C-IED work.

In the last decades various tools and aids have been introduced to support the work of EOD/IEDD personnel. One of the most powerful tools among those are the EOD/IEDD robots.

They have been already used in Iraq to dispose of improvised explosive devices, and nowadays a number of EOD robots are in deployment in countries throughout the world.

The robot hardware is expensive, and the number of devices is limited. Often the device used for operations is also used for training purposes.

In reality, training for different operational situations can only rarely be performed--if at all--due to financial issues, time pressures or lack of availability. The application of virtual training can help to circumvent these practical limitations.

Airbus Defence and Space are using Vortex as the physics simulation engine for their EOD robotics training simulation application.

Vortex was selected after a review of many open source and commercial physics engines, because it was the most stable and most accurate. Airbus Defence and Space recently published their results from this simulation work at ITEC 2010 in London. The conclusions were that the simulation behavior of Vortex and the real performance of the robot were strongly correlated.

To download a copy of the ITEC paper, click here.

Download the case study: Vortex Drives Airbus Defence and Space Robot Simulator for Belgian Army

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Battelle Memorial Institute: UGV Training Simulation

October 31, 2013

Battelle Memorial worked with CM Labs to simulate IED search-and-destroy robotics with highly realistic robot-environment interactions, with complete simulation of robotic drive systems, sensors, and manipulators.

CM Labs developed the initial simulation prototype, and further developed advanced cable system simulation capabilities to fulfill the client's requirement for high-fidelity control tether simulation.

CM Labs' Vortex technology was used to simulate the Talon Mk 2 Mod 0, RONS Mk 3 Mod 0, PackBot Mk 1 Mod 0, and the All-Purpose Remote Transport System (ARTS).

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NASA Lunar Micro-Rover Simulator Developed with Vortex

October 31, 2013

The NASA Lunar Micro Rover (LMR) mission is to deploy two micro-rovers to the moon by 2012 constructed from a family of interoperable modular subsystems capable of supporting a variety of technical objectives such as supporting Micro-Payloads, Lunar Exploration, Extended Deployment, and Tele-operation.

The NASA Ames Research Center is currently developing LMRs to address the need for an economical multi-dimension robotic tool that can be easily assembled, repaired, and customized for interstellar missions.

As part of this project, a simulator is being developed for mission simulation and rover testing by the LMR team. Students involved in the project will also be able to access the simulator to test drive the LMR.

The simulator is being built with Vortex to provide the necessary real‐time physical effects required. Read more information on the NASA Lunar Micro-Rover Simulation project here.

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IMM Uses Vortex Dynamics to Simulate EOD Robots for TIRAMISU Project

October 30, 2013

The Institute of Mathematical Machines (IMM, Warsaw, Poland) is designing EOD robot simulations in the context of the European Union's humanitarian demining TIRAMISU project (the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no. 284747, project title: Toolbox Implementation for Removal of Anti-personnel Mines and Submunitions).

The IMM was already familiar with Vortex Dynamics, and determined that it was the ideal toolkit for handling the complexities of EOD robotics design, including:

  • simulating mobility over different surfaces such as grass, mud, and rocks,
  • detecting anti-personnel bombs via sensor or remote operation,
  • digging with specialized equipment attached to the robot arm, and
  • grasping of hazardous materials and transporting to a designated location.
     

Presently, the IMM is using Vortex as the core rigid-body simulation software to develop an augmented reality (AR) system that will enhance training for operation of remotely operated mine action machinery.

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Vortex Selected by Harbin Institute of Technology's Research Center of Aerospace Mechanism and Control

October 28, 2013

Vortex has been selected by the Research Center of Aerospace Mechanism and Control (RCAMC) in the State Key Laboratory of robot technology systems at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). RCAMC has deployed Vortex for wheeled mobile robot simulation for enhanced rover motion. Vortex’s advanced ability to accurately simulate the dynamics of wheels, soil, and ground interactions was a key to its selection. RCAMC’s rover dynamics simulations will be used to improve real-time motion planning in soft soil and rough terrain.

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Vortex Selected for Spinal Surgery Medical Simulation with Barrow Neurological Institute

October 27, 2013

Vortex was selected by the Barrow Neurological Institute at St.Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Arizona for the research and development of a computerized planning tool for spine surgery. The objective is to develop a desktop application that interfaces to a haptic device to perform virtual surgery on the spine.

The main components of the application include patient specific set-up with 3D models, use of a haptic device to manipulate vertebrae and surgical tools, place hardware, and final export results for analysis. It involves the real-time simulation of the spine structure and ligaments as well as shaping and drilling of bone surfaces.

The project will be completed over a 3 year period in close cooperation with Barrow. Vortex will be used to simulate the skeleton and ligaments, drilling and shaping processes as well as the insertion and positioning of hardware. Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, is internationally recognized as a leader in neurological research and patient care.

Barrow treats patients with a wide range of neurological conditions, including brain and spinal tumors, cerebrovascular conditions, and neuromuscular disorders. Barrow's clinicians and researchers are devoted to providing excellent patient care and finding better ways to treat neurological disorders.

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Cassidian selects Vortex for EOD Robot Training Simulation

October 26, 2013

Cassidian uses Vortex as the dynamics simulation engine for its EOD robotics training simulation application.
 
Cassidian selected Vortex after a review process comparing a wide range of open source and commercial physics engines, citing the "much higher accuracy" of the Vortex engine, and its robust, stable performance as being among the qualities that set Vortex apart from the alternatives.

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Vortex Advances Robotics Design and Mobility for Defense Applications

October 25, 2013

It's no secret that Vortex excels at simulation of complex real-world robotics applications. That's why organizations like Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) employ Vortex for crucial physics and behaviour inputs.

In a recent project, DRDC deployed Vortex for robotic and sensor simulations that aid the design work of its unmanned Shape-shifting Tracked Robotic Vehicle (STRV).

Initially the Vortex team developed a MATLAB/Simulink interface for simulated robots within Vortex, which was extended to simulate the Bumblebee and Digiclops camera sensors utilized by the STRV.

Robotic controllers developed within MATLAB can be run on both the real and simulated robots with equivalent results, saving the DRDC significant development time and prototype costs.

This work is part of the Autonomous Land Systems (ALS) project at DRDC Suffield that undertakes research into the development and deployment of unique robotic vehicles for use by the Canadian Forces.

In an earlier contract, CM Labs provided physics-based vehicle dynamics for the ALS project.

Click here for more STRV details and images.

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Vortex Powers Virtual World for Neuromechanical and Biomechanical Simulation

October 01, 2013

The Vortex-developed AnimatLab project at Georgia State University is a simulation software environment that models how the body and nervous system dynamically interact in a virtual physical world where all the relevant neural and physical parameters can be observed and manipulated. The body is situated in a virtual physical world governed by Vortex.

The animat's movements are under neural control as it responds to simulated physical and experimental stimuli. The autonomous behavior of the animat appears in 3D alongside the time-series responses of any designated set of neural or physical parameters.

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UMD and ETC Team Use Vortex to Simulate "Self-taught" Vehicle

May 23, 2013

Using Vortex, the University of Maryland (UMD) in collaboration with Energetics Technology Center (ETC) has successfully shown that a vehicle learning its own behaviors in a high-fidelity physical simulation environment is a viable alternative to manually programming vehicle behavior.

In research conducted with the Simulation-Based System Design Laboratory at UMD, the UMD-ETC team demonstrated that such a vehicle can be rapidly re-trained for a change in mission or engineering specifications.

UMD's Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta says that "the requirements for high simulation performance led the group to use the commercially available Vortex simulation library, developed by CM Labs."

"Because the simulation environment also allows vehicles to be driven by human operators," he continues, "experts can verify the accuracy of the simulation, teach behaviors by demonstration, and compete against the computer-controlled vehicle."

According to Dr. Gupta, continuing work will focus on applying the same techniques and tools to a larger vehicle platform with more complex behaviors.

For more details, download Automated Behavior Generation for Unmanned Ground Vehicles Using Virtual Environments.

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Kiewit Selects Vortex Crane Simulators for Comprehensive Crane Training

February 23, 2013

Kiewit Corporation is one of North America's largest and most respected construction, mining, and engineering organizations.

Kiewit's policy is to perform its work in the safest manner possible, and consistently with good construction practices.

That policy has led Kiewit to develop a new mobile lift-planning and crane operation training program designed to allow field personnel to plan and practice lifts, and understand potential challenges from the crane operator's perspective.

To meet the needs of this comprehensive training program, CM Labs is providing a mobile solution consisting of several Vortex Crane Simulators, a signaler station, and other learning stations, all installed in a mobile trailer.

Kiewit will use the mobile training facility to continue to develop its staff's heavy lift skills and safe practice throughout its North American work sites.

CM Labs' Vortex solutions are providing their hallmark high-fidelity training simulators, full-crew team training, and instructor consoles for performance review.

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CAE Terra Mining Simulators Leveraging Vortex Dynamics

February 21, 2013

In an industry where safety is paramount and the cost of training on real equipment is very high, CAE's Terra simulation solutions allow operators to rehearse and prepare for the most complex tasks, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of mining operations as well as helping reduce costs.

CAE Terra mining simulators cover a range of mining equipment and provide unparalleled realism in replicating equipment performance for both open-pit and underground mining operations.

CAE Terra mining simulators are using Vortex Dynamics as the physics engine to simulate terrain interaction and vehicle dynamics.

High-fidelity heavy equipment and simulated rock dynamics allow operators to train with the real-life feel of the equipment to better prepare them for a range of conditions in the mine site.

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Velosi Selects Vortex Crane Simulator for Crane Operator Certification Training

February 21, 2013

Velosi Certification LLC, Qatar, which is part of the international group Velosi, a leading service provider for Inspection and Certification and HSE services worldwide, has selected the Vortex Crane Simulator for crane operator certification training.

Based in Qatar, Velosi Certification's Lifting Equipment Inspection & Training Division, which offers training for all type of equipment operators, was looking for a simulation-based crane operator training & testing solution for certified training.

Velosi turned to CM Labs' renowned Vortex Crane Simulator solution. CM Labs is providing a complete mobile crane simulator, including actual crane seat, controls, pedals, and touchscreen LMI.

The solution includes a full spectrum of training scenarios and certification practice exercises.

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BNSF Railway Selects Vortex Crane Simulators for Operational Training

February 20, 2013

BNSF Railway was seeking a crane simulator solution to provide safety awareness and operational training for its boom truck and mobile crane operators.

BNSF selected scalable Vortex Crane Simulators, including stand up lever-type control station for boom trucks, remote control for articulated boom trucks, and a crane seat base with dashboard/lever controls for the mobile and crane.

Equipment modules include a National 300B boom truck, Palfinger 14002-EH articulated boom truck, and a Grove TR530 mobile hydraulic crane.

Key factors in BNSF's selection of Vortex Simulators included their high fidelity, scalability, and ability to expand to additional equipment modules in the future.

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University of Tuebingen Research Team Using Vortex to Develop "Cognitive" Robotic Systems

February 14, 2013

At the University of Tuebingen's Department of Computer Science, the Cognitive Modeling research team led by Professor Martin Butz is using Vortex to help develop cognitive "bodyspaces": interactive spatial representations of the body (or rather, simulated body-like structures) within its environment.

Professor Butz's team is investigating methods of learning such representations, shaping them to a maximally behaviorally suitable extent, and actually triggering flexible, adaptive, self-motivated goal-directed behavior within these representations.

The team is also investigating how more conceptual representations can develop out of these spatial representations, and how behavioral control is mediated by these representations.

"We will use Vortex to develop 'cognitive', highly 'adaptive' robotic systems," says Professor Butz.

"We also want to study developmental aspects, e.g., with the system learning its own body kinematics (and possibly also its dynamics), and then learning progressively more about how to manipulate its environment—the main aim being to model cognition and cognitive development."

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XPI Selects Vortex for UK MoD Simulator Research

November 29, 2012

XPI Simulation Ltd. has been awarded a contract in excess of £1M by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTI), part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide a research simulator for armoured vehicle driver training.

XPI Simulation Ltd. chose CM Labs to provide tools and support for deploying high fidelity vehicle dynamics simulation of the Warrior Tank.

The delivery team will be led by XPI Simulation as contract lead, partnered with CAE (UK) plc, NSC, and QinetiQ Ltd.

This work will be carried out as part of the MoD Synthetic Environment Tower of Excellence which is a delivery route for cross-cutting Test, Evaluation, Simulation, and Training (TEST) research, involving a collaboration of government, industry, and academia.

This research programme investigates the use of developing technologies and open standards relevant to the application of Simulation and Synthetic Environments (SEs) for defence training, experimentation, and evaluation.

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University of British Columbia uses Vortex for Physics-based Character Simulation

November 23, 2012

The Imager Lab in the Department of Computer Science at UBC is using Vortex to develop state-of-the-art methods for controlling the motions of physics-based character simulations.

Vortex will be used to simulated the full-body dynamics of human motions, including walking, jumping, running, and a variety of other motions that are highly dynamic in nature or that involve dynamic interactions with the environment.

The goal is to develop models of motion that are significantly more general than what can be obtained from using motion capture data alone.

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BP Selects Vortex Excavator Simulator

November 22, 2012

British Petroleum's Texas City Refinery, the second largest refinery in the US, was looking for skills training for hydraulic excavator operators.

BP selected CM Labs’ Vortex simulator as the platform of choice.

The Texas City Refinery was already operating a Vortex mobile crane simulator, and operators were impressed with the high fidelity of the solution, along with its straightforward ability to scale and expand toward other equipment types.

Thanks to Vortex, hydraulic excavator operators at the Texas City Refinery will be training in a safe, controlled, and environmentally friendly system, with the most realistic simulator on the market today.

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CM Labs starts work on Liebherr Drill Rig Simulator for OETIO

November 21, 2012

The Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO) operates a world-class training facility, offering crane operator, heavy equipment, and construction safety training programs. Due to recent worksite incidents, the OETIO and IUOE are developing a comprehensive training program for rotary drill operations.

OETIO, togther with the IUOE Local 793 and CM Labs, have a successful partnership, based on their shared philosophy of applied innovation for rigorous, standards-based heavy-equipment training.

That's why OETIO chose Vortex to simulate a Liebherr Rotary Drill Rig for its new training program. CM Labs’ Vortex platform not only simulates machine operation, controls and behavior, and 3D worksites, it also easily handles the real-time dynamics required to simulate such challenging tasks as travelling with Kelley Bar and CFA attachments, in a variety of potentially hazardous conditions. The result will be more skilled operators and better site safety.

The simulator will be delivered to OETIO's Oakville campus in March 2013.

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Bruce Power Selects Vortex for Nuclear Refueling Simulator

October 29, 2012

Bruce Power is Canada's first private nuclear power generator and a vital part of Ontario’s energy future. Its 2,300-acre site on the shores of Lake Huron houses the Bruce A and B generating stations, which each hold four CANDU reactors.

Six of those units are currently operational and produce more than 4,700 megawatts, which is enough to power one in five hospitals, homes, and schools in Ontario.

Refueling of CANDU reactors involves operation of refueling heads, transported by carriages and maneuvered into position in front of the calandria tubes by a bridge lift.

The machines are simple in principle but highly complex in practice. As a new generation of operators comes on board, Bruce Power has a huge need for rapid and efficient training. The goal of reducing training time from 18 months down to 12 months is a challenge only achievable with the help of simulation-based training.

Bruce Power turned to CM Labs to build a high-fidelity visual simulation of the fuel handling mechanical systems. The project involves the development of the environment representing the fuel route and the simulation of the fuel handling components operated from the main control room. The system will be integrated with a replica control room and the existing reactor control room simulator.

The Bruce Power fuel handling simulator will allow operators to train on operations tasks such as new fuel and irradiated fuel transfer and storage; fueling machine head operations and reactor bridge and carriage operation.

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NC Services Group in Alberta Builds Skills with Vortex

September 26, 2012

With a fleet of over 150 cranes, NC Services Group (NCSG) is one of the most important providers of lift and heavy-haul services to major oil and gas companies in Northern Alberta.

NCSG recently purchased a 5-display Vortex Simulator with a motion platform, instructor console, and mobile and crawler crane modules.

The Vortex Simulator will allow NCSG to assess operators hired for specific projects, and to maintain the skills of the existing workforce.

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Keyano College Develops Tower Crane Training Program

September 21, 2012

Keyano College is one of Alberta’s leading trade schools.

As a progressive training institute, Keyano embraced the use of simulators for training several years ago, starting with simulators to train mining equipment operators.

Keyano has recently purchased two Vortex Simulators for Tower, Mobile, and Crawler crane operator training.

Keyano is currently developing a complete tower crane operator training program around the Vortex Simulator platform.

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Tohoku University Space Robotics Lab Selects Vortex for Planetary Robotics

July 28, 2012

Space Robotics Laboratory at Tohoku University is dedicated to the research and development of robotic systems for space science and exploration missions.

The lab recently selected Vortex to aid their research which is focused on the mechanics and control of lunar exploration rovers. Technologies for remote planetary exploration (such as mapping and localization in the unstructured environment, rough terrain mobility, and teleoperation with time delay) can also be applied to the robots for search and rescue missions.

The Space Robotics Laboratory joins a growing community of space robotics researchers using Vortex, including the Canadian Space Agency, Harbin Institute of Technology, NASA Ames, Shanghai JiaoTong University, and Beijing Institute of Technology.

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Netherlands' MARIN selects Vortex for Crane Simulation

July 18, 2012

MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, is a world leader in hydrodynamic and nautical research and development. MARIN provides industry with innovative design solutions and advanced research in the maritime sector. MARIN currently employs more than 300 people working in many offshore research projects.

MARIN is currently developing a validated simulation of maritime lift operations together with several of Europe's leading offshore heavy lift operators including Big Lift, Heerema, Jumbo, and SHL.

OBELICS' (Operability of Ballasting and lifting operations of Extreme Loads with Integrated hydrodynamics) objective is to develop and validate a framework for ballast and lift operations of extreme loads, incorporating all the relevant dynamics of this offshore operation.

The simulation will be integrated and visualized in a real time environment. It will be used for both training purposes and applied as an engineering tool for the design of operations in the engineering phase of a project.

MARIN selected Vortex to perform the lift operations simulation for crane and cable dynamics. MARIN's evaluation involved prototyping simulations with multi-body dynamics (physics) simulation engines.

MARIN's researchers were concerned with simulation fidelity and the ability of the software to reliably predict outcome. The engineers found that game physics engines were not up to the task due to fidelity and stability problems in the simulation. After a short pilot project with Vortex and support from CM Labs engineers, the solution was clear.

Moving forward, MARIN is integrating Vortex with their hydrodynamics simulation. This will allow for coupled ship and crane dynamics simulation as well as the simulation of mooring, dynamics position, tandem lifting and offloading operations.

Simulations will be benchmarked against model test results and full-scale measurements.

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Jilin University Selects Vortex for Simulation of Robotics and Heavy Equipment

July 17, 2012

The College of Mechanical Science and Engineering at China's Jilin University has selected Vortex for teaching and research.

Vortex is also being applied to VR simulations of rovers and heavy equipment. Important to their selection criteria were CM Labs' level of support and quality of technical documentation.

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Norwegian University of Science and Technology Selects Vortex for Simulation of Ice Flows

March 28, 2012

After a thorough evaluation of several physics engines, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has selected Vortex for marine research. Vortex is being applied to numerical simulation of floaters in Arctic ice fields.

Several engines were evaluated for accuracy, collision performance, friction modelling, computational efficiency, fluid simulation capabilities, and fracture modelling features before  NTNU’s Department of Civil and Transport Engineering chose Vortex. Also important to their criteria were technical documentation quality and the vendor's level of support.

NTNU selected Vortex since it was one of the most accurate engines, performed well, and provided the best technical support.

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Changsha University of Science & Tech Selects Vortex for Planetary Robotics

March 28, 2012

CM Labs welcomes Changsha University of Science & Technology (China) as a new member of our academic partner program.

Professor Li Yan of the Aerospace Department will employ Vortex in dynamic simulations to study Mars vehicles/rovers.

Vortex’s advanced ability to accurately simulate the dynamics of wheels, soil, and ground interactions was a key to its selection. Several research organizations are adopting Vortex for rover-related research including the CSA, HIT, Tohoku U, SJTU, and BIT.

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SRU Prepares Crane Operators for OSHA Regulations

March 27, 2012

Located in Oklahoma, Safety Resources Unlimited (SRU) provides training, consulting, and inspection services throughout the United States. SRU services a variety of industries utilizing material handling equipment with training onsite and at its training center to accredited NCCCO standards and in accordance to OSHA regulations.

In order to expand its training program, SRU recently acquired a Vortex crane simulator to better prepare trainees for the NCCCO practical exams. It allows apprentices to get more stick-time, improve their confidence, and provide the experience necessary for the real job.

Vortex simulators allows both apprentices and skilled operators to acquire unique skills in a fraction of the time it would take on the real job. In addition, it allows them to get ready for the unexpected by allowing them to experience and learn from job site incidents in a safe, simulated environment.

SRU will receive delivery of a Vortex simulator complete with 2 large-screen HD displays and a 3DOF motion base. With its hot-swappable control design, the simulator is versatile enough to allow training on both mobile and crawler cranes. It is fully loaded with many training scenarios for both routine and difficult lifts.

The Vortex simulator will allow SRU to deliver a higher quality of training to its students and better prepare them for the challenges on the real jobsite.

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Bruce Power Improves Training Efficiency with Vortex Crane Simulator

March 26, 2012

Bruce Power is Canada's first private nuclear power generator and a vital part of Ontario’s energy future. Its 2,300-acre site on the shores of Lake Huron houses the Bruce A and B generating stations, which each hold four CANDU reactors. Six of those units are currently operational and produce more than 4,700 megawatts, which is enough to power one in five hospitals, homes and schools in Ontario.

Bruce Power operates many types of mobile and overhead cranes on the site and maintains a crew of dedicated operators. Access to the equipment for training is difficult since it is constantly in use or in areas where training is difficult to perform.

To ensure they keep the operator's skills sharp, Bruce Power have deployed Vortex Crane Simulators for Broderson carry deck cranes and the main turbine hall overhead crane.

CMLabs created specific scenarios for maintenance and safety critical operations like lifting and handling scenarios in confined environments. The overhead crane in the main turbine hall has been simulated and specific lifts for turbine maintenance have been implemented.

We look forward to working with Bruce Power on more projects in the future and helping better prepare their operators for the challenges of lift operations.

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RUAG Powers Virtual Driver Training with Vortex

November 26, 2011

RUAG Defence is one of the world's leading manufacturers of defense simulation and training equipment. RUAG's virtual simulation units are comprehensive training solutions for commanders, gunners and vehicle drivers. RUAG develops and delivers simulation units for live and virtual training meeting armed forces' changing requirements.

Flexible configurations allow highly realistic training of any mission, for individuals, crews or units with a wide range of additional equipment. RUAG selected Vortex to power its next generation of virtual vehicle trainers for its fidelity, modularity and ease of deployment within their Virtual Arena framework.

Vortex is being deployed for vehicle simulation of battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles in virtual urban, open terrain and peace support operations. Vortex has allowed RUAG to effectively move to at COTS solution for modular and configurable physical definition and simulation of vehicle dynamics – making efficient use of engineering resources and improving reusability.

Vortex models vehicle dynamics using the same engineering properties employed by vehicle design engineers, saving many man-months of effort because of its flexible and reusable vehicle assembly and modeling features. Vortex Dynamics facilitates the creation of high-fidelity and robust ground vehicles, heavy equipment and robotics.

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Vortex Provides Ground Vehicle Simulation to Elbit Systems

November 26, 2011

CM Labs has been recently engaged by Elbit Systems to supply vehicle simulation capabilities for defense ground vehicle simulation projects. The initial deployment of Vortex will be within an advanced training systems project for one of its customers. The project comprises driving simulators for various armored vehicles (tracked and wheeled).

CM Labs is delivering its leading vehicle simulation toolkit along with expert services to provide a modular turn-key solution integrated within Elbit's state-of-the-art training platform.

Vortex will simulate vehicle driving, powertrain, braking systems, fuel consumption, suspension, collision, roll-over and many malfunctions. It provides a configurable off-the-shelf solution that will save considerable development costs and allow Elbit Systems to bring proven and high quality solutions to its customers.

Vortex takes real-time simulation of cars, trucks, heavy equipment, military vehicles and ground robotics to the next level. Through quick parameter-based assembly, Vortex puts engineering-grade vehicles into any synthetic environment for ground-breaking physics-based motion and interactions.

Vortex sets the standard for physically accurate, real-time simulations of wheeled and tracked ground vehicles for virtual prototyping and testing, mission rehearsal, driver training, and other real-world applications.

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University of Western Ontario Selects Vortex for Vehicle Simulation

November 26, 2011

The University of Western Ontario (Canada) is the latest university to select Vortex for their research. The School of Kinesiology will use Vortex in research on the effects of whole-body vibration on heavy equipment operators which can be a significant workplace risk factor for injury.

Vortex will drive the dynamics of industrial vehicles over varying terrains on a robotic platform to simulate the accurate motion and vibration impacting the operator seat.

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University of Victoria and CM Labs to Collaborate on NSERC-Funded Haptics Research

November 26, 2011

CM Labs has entered into a collaborative research partnership with the University of Victoria with support from NSERC.

The project, led by Professor Daniela Constantinescu, will investigate novel control techniques to add stable high-fidelity haptic feedback to dynamic virtual environments using Vortex.

The NSERC Engage Grants Program fosters the development of new research partnerships between academic researchers and companies.

With support from this grant and CM Labs, Professor Constantinescu's lab will develop techniques to provide 6DOF haptic feedback at the fixed 1 kHz frequency to operators who manipulate virtual objects simulated in real-time using Vortex at 60 Hz.

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BP Puts Vortex Crane Simulators to Work

October 23, 2011

BP Texas City refinery near Galveston (Texas) is the third-largest refinery in the US and produces 3% of the nation's gasoline. BP's first priority is safe and reliable operations, and heavy equipment skills training is a key component in achieving that every day.

During major operations BP may have thousands of contractors on site with multiple heavy lift cranes hoisting tonnes of equipment. Having the right skills and preparation for this work is paramount. BP recently added two Vortex mobile and crawler crane training simulators as well as signaller training to their crane operator training program.

This will allow BP to ensure their onsite operators have the skills they need to perform safe and efficient lifts on the 1,200-acre site. The Vortex crane simulators offer a comprehensive skills development program for heavy lift crews. BP plans to upgrade to earth-moving equipment and site-specific training exercises in the year to come.

The CM Labs team welcomes BP as a client, and we look forward to working with the Texas City crew in the years to come.

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OETIO and Vortex Partner for Wind Turbine Construction Training

October 23, 2011

The Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO) together with the IUOE local 793 and the Vortex team are partnering to develop wind turbine construction training using Vortex simulation-based training solutions.

The OETIO is a world-class training institute with two campuses in Ontario, Canada. OETIO offers crane operator, heavy equipment operator, and construction safety training programs in support of the construction industry. Wind turbine erection is challenging and is a critical link in the supply chain of wind energy. Wind farms are in areas of frequent high wind; from a contractor’s perspective high and fluctuating wind poses a serious safety issue.

In addition, over the last 20 years the turbine size has grown considerably requiring heavier and higher lifts. Lifts typically require two cranes operating in tandem; an extremely challenging job requiring specific skills.

By using two Vortex training simulators in tandem, OETIO will be able to perfect the lift crew skills necessary for the challenges of the wind energy industry for years to come.

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Babcock Delivers Just-in-time Training with Vortex

October 23, 2011

The Babcock, Rosyth, Scotland facility is the site for final assembly of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. The facility is unique, with the UK's largest crane.

CM Labs recently installed a Vortex training system that allows Babcock to deliver just-in-time training for lift crews throughout the project lifecycle. It will improve safety, minimize costly wear and tear on real equipment, and lower fuel costs, among other benefits.

The solution is customized to the unique equipment and operating environment at the Rosyth site. Operators use real crane controls, work on the virtual Rosyth worksite, and experience a wide variety of work conditions and challenges—all leading to the acquisition of important skills.

The scenarios progress from initial aircraft carrier block lifts through the project lift cycle to advanced lifts and ensure a safety-first approach to lift operations. With operators training on a high-fidelity simulation of the real crane, training is accomplished without the possibility of equipment damage or injury to personnel involved with the lifting operations.

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Liebherr Selects Vortex for Offshore and Port Crane Simulator

November 23, 2010

We are proud that one of the world's most respected crane manufacturers has selected Vortex for a new simulator project for both offshore and harbor cranes. Liebherr is a well known trendsetter in new technologies and innovations.

The simulator will be used to showcase Liebherr's advanced Litronic controls systems and crane operations while immersed in an actual Liebherr crane cabin. The simulator will be showcased at Liebherr tradeshow events in 2011.

The simulator is built on the Vortex engine and integrated with Liebherr Litronic controls. It provides a very high level of realism and a true operations in-cab experience.

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JC Training Centre Selects Vortex for Mobile Crane Operator Training

November 23, 2010

JC International is an Oil Services Company established in 2001 with the aim of providing a wide range of services in Lifting operations, NDT Services, Drill Pipes/Bottom Hole Assembly Inspections and Training.

Located in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, JC Training Centre is designed to provide the most valuable learning environment available, equipped with Vortex simulators, cranes, and advanced teaching aids.

JCI instructors are seasoned professionals who have had specific classroom training as well as extensive involvement in the oil and gas industry.

The comprehensive Vortex solution is a major addition to JCI's training program, allowing them to accelerate skills acquisition, lower costs, attract new customers and students, and enjoy a substantial return on investment (ROI).

Download the full story now [PDF]

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Cairo University's Faculty of Computers and Information Selects Vortex

November 23, 2010

The Faculty of Computers and Information at Cairo University recently established a VR and Graphics Simulation Lab and selected Vortex for their research. Vortex is used in teaching and student VR/simulation projects.

The flexibility and realism of Vortex were critical to the lab's decision as well as the ability to easily integrate Vortex will into their existing software modules.

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McGill University Using Vortex for Modelling Human Motion

May 23, 2010

The computer graphics lab at McGill University will be utilizing Vortex in the Graphics, Animation and New meDia (GRAND) research project MOTION. The MOTION project, investigating measurement and modelling of human motor control, is led by Professor Michiel van de Panne at UBC and co-led by Professor Paul Kry at McGill.

The research brings together investigators with significant expertise in computer animation, computer vision, games, interactive storytelling, physics-based simulation, robotics, machine learning, and perception. The goal of the MOTION project is to develop and exploit new models of whole-body human motion with application to animation, games, e-commerce, interfaces for new media, modelling and tracking for health care applications, and entertainment robotics.

Sheldon Andrews, a Ph.D. student at McGill, is using Vortex as a platform to develop novel grasp synthesis techniques for physically based virtual hand models. The approach uses machine learning to generate robust control policies that allow for object grasping and manipulation in a dynamical simulation. The Vortex VxGrasp toolkit has been an essential component of this work.

For more information on the McGill project, visit the MOTION Website.

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Vortex Partners with Makemedia to Simulate Lunar Electric Rover Concept Vehicle

May 23, 2010

CM Labs and Makemedia recently partnered to develop a lunar vehicle simulator based on the NASA Lunar Electric Rover (LER). This small pressurized rover is about the size of a pickup truck (with 12 wheels) and can house two astronauts for up to 14 days with sleeping and sanitary facilities. It is designed to require little or no maintenance, be able to travel thousands of miles climbing over rocks and up 40 degree slopes during its 10 year life exploring the harsh surface of the moon.

Vortex was used to simulate the LER vehicle dynamics as well as its interaction in a virtual lunar outpost. Makemedia provided the virtual lunar landscape models as well as 3D models for the LER and outpost structures. Makemedia's broad visualization industry experience and meticulous attention to detail allowed Vortex to produce a realistic simulation of LER operations with stunning visuals of the NASA lunar outpost. The simulation features rover driving as well as using the LER excavator to dig regolith on the Moon's surface. New developments in Vortex deformable terrain simulation are featured in the simulator.

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Vortex Drives M113 Armored Personnel Carrier Simulator for Enhanced Training

April 30, 2010

California-based CONTEX Engineering International was contracted to develop a fully featured M113 simulator for a customer needing to train hundreds of drivers on the M113 armored personnel carrier. 

To develop the vehicle dynamics, CONTEX initially considered using in-house resources. However, they soon realized there were many constraints to this approach. 

After a short evaluation period, CONTEX concluded that "Vortex could handle the non-linear physics better than any other product. We were looking for extremely high fidelity in multiple on and off-road scenarios, and Vortex handled driving phenomena such as obstacles, drops in terrain, and collisions better than any other solution."

Download the full case study now

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Vortex, PNI Training, Antycip Partner for Offshore Crane Operator Training Solution

April 26, 2010

Vortex has partnered with PNI Training in Norway and Antycip Simulation to deliver a unique team-based training environment that promotes a safety-first approach to performing offshore heavy-lift operations. From initial toolbox-talk to simultaneous multi-player operations and after-action review, Vortex Crane Simulators offer a complete classroom-based solution for team training.

"After an extensive search for the right combination of simulation-based crane training expertise, team-based immersive learning and a proven track record for delivering on-time, we chose Vortex for our training solution," said Geir Gislason, Chairman, PNI Training Centre.

"An essential aspect of our crane operations training is teamwork—training operators, slingers, and banksmen simultaneously to prepare them for typical tasks and challenges in offshore operations. Vortex was the only provider we found that has this expertise, and together we have created an industry first for heavy-lift training operations. Our students will really benefit—the results will be more experienced and skilled crews, and safer operations."

Working in close partnership with PNI, the Vortex team combined its simulator expertise with PNI's training experience and Antycip Simulation's European-based technical support, creating an integrated and immersive training solution. The project features the creation of many in-depth training exercises for rig and supply ship lifts, internal lifts, subsea lifts on intervention ships, and even tandem lifts with two simulated cranes.

Training exercises involve the crane operator, banksman, and slinger in a multi-player interactive virtual world. Download the full press release now

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IUOE Local 400 Montana Acquires Vortex Crane Simulator

April 16, 2010

The Montana Operating Engineers (MTOE), affiliated with Local 400 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), recently acquired a Vortex Crane Simulator. MTOE will add to their existing crane training program by providing simulation-based training for union members, helping them acquire important and comprehensive skills, which will result in more experienced operators and safer working conditions. As well, the Vortex simulator allows students to gain easy access to realistic machine training without the cost and environmental impact of operating actual heavy equipment.

With the Vortex Crane Simulator, IUOE apprentices and operators will learn how to use the equipment in increasingly challenging training exercises. High-resolution virtual worksites, realistic crane and load dynamics, authentic crane controls and challenging heavy-lift exercises provide students with rich operational experience. To accelerate learning, exercises feature navigation aids, performance metrics, and a playback review mode for team evaluation purposes.

Instructors can introduce equipment failures, difficult weather conditions and other challenges to teach students to properly and safely react to situations that may arise on a worksite.

"We are eager to provide simulation-based training to our members, so we are pleased to be working with the Vortex team," said Quinton Farr, Director of Training, Montana Operating Engineers Apprenticeship and Training. "The Vortex Crane Simulator provides the benefits we targeted for our crane operator program: to bring our training into the 21st century, to increase operator safety, to green the program, and to do all this as cost-effectively as possible."

Download the full press release now

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RWTH Aachen University Advances Deformable Terrain Research with Vortex

November 23, 2009

Vortex is the basis for a soil simulation framework developed in cooperation with the Virtual Reality faculty at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany. The module will be used as part of a VR application in the faculty's CAVE for the simulation of highly plastic soil deformations, which occur, for example, during excavation.

Vortex was integrated with OpenSG and RWTH's Flip VR display system with stereo optics and DTrack head tracking. A Phantom Omni force feedback haptic device is used for interaction with the objects.

The research behind this project, Soil deformation models for real-time simulation: A hybrid approach by Daniel Holz, Thomas Beer, and Torsten Kuhlen, was presented at the 6th Workshop on Virtual Reality Interaction and Physical Simulation VRIPHYS 09.

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Vortex Upgrades OETIO Simulators with Tandem Lift, Signaler Training, and More

April 30, 2009

CM Labs was recently awarded a contract by OETIO to upgrade its Vortex crane simulators. The upgrade adds substantial new functionality to the OETIO crane simulators. OETIO now has six operator-training simulators, and they have become a key tool in training hundreds of operators in skilled and safe procedures.

The updates include important new functionality developed by the Vortex simulator team:

  • Ability to perform tandem lifts using two simulators working together in the same virtual worksite.
  • New scenarios for tower crane erection and disassembly using a mobile crane.
  • Signaler training using a second display (signalers view of the crane) and a picture-in-picture display of the signaler in the crane simulator display from a remote camera.
  • New operator skills evaluation tools with skills level development and scoring.
  • Scenario to perform crane worksite setup, positioning/leveling, and routine checks.
  • Capability for record and playback of student exercises for after-action review by student and instructor

Read the case study: Vortex Simulators Power OETIO's Enhanced Training Programs [PDF]

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CM Labs Delivers Lattice Boom Crawler Crane Simulator to OETIO

November 23, 2008

CM Labs has delivered a four-screen lattice boom crawler crane simulator to the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO). The state-of-the-art operator training simulator features training simulations for pile-driving, clam-shell operation, and jib training, all modelled on a Manitowoc 8500.

The Vortex technology platform, which permits realistic, real-time, interactive 3D representation of vehicles in contact with terrain and other objects, was incorporated into the simulator. Vortex allows the creation of simulated environments with the high degree of realism required for operator training.

Using a simulator to train for noisy, dirty operations involving pile driving and drag-lining in an urban environment has clear advantages in terms of time, cost and throughput.

"The opportunity to train in an effective simulation significantly increases the hours of hands-on experience our students acquire in a safe, controlled, realistic, and responsive environment," stated OETIO Director Gerry Hughes.

This delivery follows the installation of two dome simulators for concrete pump operator training to OETIO earlier this year. The immersive four-screen simulator delivered to OETIO is also available in a single-screen configuration.

Client Success
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CM Labs Delivers Concrete Pump Operator Training Simulator to OETIO

May 31, 2008

The Vortex team recently delivered an operator training simulator to the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO). The state-of-the-art concrete pump simulator features a three-meter-dome display and is modeled on a Schwing 32X.

Vortex technology provides realistic, real-time, interactive 3D representation of vehicles in contact with terrain and other objects. Vortex allows the creation of simulated environments with the high degree of realism required for operator training.

The operator can stand in the middle of the dome and use hand and leg controls to conduct simulated pouring and other exercises in the virtual environment.

"The simulator will enable apprentices to get a feel for operating these machines in a safe and controlled environment," said Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Also included in this delivery is a second 2.2m dome configuration of the same simulator.

Client Success
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CM Labs Develops ROV Training Simulator for Perry Slingsby Systems

July 11, 2007

CM Labs Simulations Inc. is pleased to announce that it has completed a major project – a deep-sea remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Training Simulator for Perry Slingsby Systems, the world’s leading supplier of remotely operated technologies to the offshore industry.

The ROV training simulator was built using Vortex, a toolkit modeling vehicles, machines and robots for real-time, interactive simulations.

The toolkit is based on unique intellectual property that enables validatable, high-fidelity computer-based training and virtual product testing with interacting simulations of vehicles, rigid and flexible bodies, gases, fluids, and much more.

The simulator provides for operator training of an underwater ROV interacting within its environment including the sea bottom, current effects, cables, and a variety of supporting artifacts.

CM Labs' professional services team provides expertise in building, validating, and maintaining advanced dynamics applications and providing integration between hardware and software. CM Labs' combined product offering and consulting expertise accelerates time to market while lowering total costs, thereby leveraging first-mover advantages.

As a uniquely experienced project team able to produce physics-based simulations for the visualization and simulation industry, we are proud of our reputation for delivering projects on-time, on budget, and within specifications, at the highest level of quality.