Applied basic research

The focus of FIMA’s research is applied basic research. The main purpose is to improve the productivity and safety of work machines and to generate new solutions and increased level of automation. The importance of intelligence of work machines will increase significantly in the future. Main research themes include

  • automation
  • sensor and perception techniques
  • safety in automation
  • productivity through lifetime
  • new design methods
  • energy-efficiency of work machines


Examples from previous project portfolio

FIMA projects are jointly financed by all members, based on the idea of risk and cost sharing.

SeeWork - digital see-through structures in work machines

  • 2016 - 2017
  • Budget 0,5 MEUR
  • Research partner Tampere University of Technology and VTT
The purpose is to develop a digital see-through concept for the operator of the work
machine that solve the visibility to blindspots. A robust combination of camera and display
technologies is provided to augment the operator’s view. The system senses the surroundings of the vehicle and provides digitally created visual information of the occluded areas to the operator. The information is shown through visualization media, which is seamlessly integrated into the cabin of the machine. The core target is to enable augmenting the view without the user having to wear additional devices or accessories.

DPSafe - design patterns for safety functions

  • 2015 - 2016
  • Budget 0,3 MEUR
  • Research partner Tampere University of Technology
Researches and specialists from member companies compiled together tens of new design patterns for details of functional safety systems. The focus was in software design and architectures. The result is a new design handbook including practical solutions, known uses and principals for common design challenges.


  • 2014 - 2015
  • Budget 0,8 MEUR
  • Research partners Tampere University of Technology and VTT
The project ensured the lead in modern boom technology in work machines. It studied new competitive, service free and wireless sensors to measure boom movements and structures and work piece position. The objective was to create solutions that are easy to install on all kind of machines regardless type, size or structures. The main focus was in MEMS sensors. Boom orientation and tool position is measured by combining inertia data and UWB (ultra wide band) reference information. Passive strain gauges and acoustic emission sensors will be developed for structure lifetime estimation and crack detection. One task of the project was to optimize the main boom features and structures and to develop methods to design optimal structures.

Tubridi - Future hybrid work machine

  • 2012 - 2015
  • Budget 1,6 MEUR
  • Research partners Aalto University and Lappeenranta university of Technology
Tubridi project developed systems and components for the future hybrid work machine.  Two research platforms are made for testing: full scale hybrid work machine and HIL simulator.  Project studies electric alternatives to the traditional hydraulic components such as cylinder movements, wheel turning and auxiliary functions. Simulator work extends the test results from the full scale machine. The research challenge was to find out the benefits of hybrid machines. What is the effect on the productivity and usability? What is the difference in fuel consumption compared to traditional electro-hydraulic machine? How to integrate electric components into the machine structures?

FAMOUS  - Data management in a multi-machine environment

  • 2011 - 2014
  • Budget 3,2 MEUR
  • Research partners Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology, VTT and MTT
The objective of FAMOUS project was to achieve essential steps towards future work site automation without compromising safety and efficiency requirements. The main research domains were operator assistance systems, adaptive safety functions and new safety concepts in complex multi-machine environment.

FAMOUS developed a proof-of-concept system for real-time and predictive situational awareness information between machines. Project demonstrated the readiness of new technologies such as UWB (ultra-wideband) positioning and M2M communication using 802.11p protocol. The full scale system test was carried out at harbor area using straddle carriers. UWB distance measurement was also tested to accomplish a real time location system at indoor and outdoor applications. FAMOUS produced also new sensor fusion systems and algorithms to enable automation features in machine operation. 3D camera vision was studied to assist teleoperation and obstacle detection.

One remarkable result of FAMOUS is the new concept of ”adaptive” safety which combines situational awareness information and dynamic risk assessment. It changes the safety paradigm from ”risk based” into ”risk informed” decision making. Beside that project developed simulation tools to study the impacts of adaptive safety functions and process models for agile virtual design of demanding safety features.

MOTTI - Data management in a multi-machine environment

  • 2009 - 2014
  • Budget 1,63 MEUR
  • Research partners Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology and VTT
The research objective was to define control architectures and communication models for a multi-machine fleet.  As result MOTTI created opens source software libraries. GIMnet is a remote communication infrastructure designed for robotics applications.  It provides a virtual private network (VPN) and point-to-point communication between nodes and enables a real time remote operation using internet connection. MaCI (Machine Control Interface) is a library for building robot control software including modular and reusable software components. Additional deliverables from MOTTI are methods for traffic control and path planning, convoy and synchronized driving and simulation tools for machine fleet planning.

RelSteps -  Dependability management from standard to practice

  • 2010 - 2012
  • Budget 0,8 MEUR
  • Research partners  VTT, Tampere University of Technology and University of Tampere
The main objective of RelSteps was to define a model for the dependability management in the mechanical engineering companies. The results give guidelines when applying the common standards such EN-50126 or EN 60300-2. RelSteps research find out answer for the basic questions like: What is an appropriate life cycle definition of the system in question?  What are the necessary tasks regarding dependability during the whole product lifetime? What are the responsibilities in the company? What are the necessary instructions, tools and reference documents? How to integrate dependability activities as a part of company´s operations?

TIKOSU - Database centric development of machine control systems

  • 2009 - 2011
  • Budget 0,62 MEUR
  • Research partners VTT, Aalto University, University of Patras (Greece) and University of Dresden (Germany)
The purpose of the project was to create systems engineering tools to reduce the time needed for the development of complex control systems. The idea was to develop database oriented management of design, analysis and implementation information. This will eliminate overlapping work and ensure consistency of data. The project created prototype implementation of a data model and process workflows that utilize the same data model (i.e. for risk assessment). The creation of project documentation with the help of the database was demonstrated and automatic generation of documents was tested.

TOLKKU - From measurements data to information

  • 2009 - 2011
  • Budget 1,63 MEUR
  • Research partners Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology, VTT and CITRIS (UC Berkeley, USA)
The focus in TOLKKU project data mining. The main research question was how to manage and utilize the huge amount of data which is generated in the control and sensor systems of the mobile work machines? How to extract the essential information without increasing the number of sensors? The result of TOLKKU project was a practical and generic toolbox which can be used for early detection of faults, prognosis and anticipation of service needs, composition of load and use profiles, automatic decision-making support, formulation for causal relations etc.

ENTALT - Electrical energy recovery and reuse in work machines

  • 2007 - 2010
  • Budget 0,8 MEUR
  • Research partners Tampere University of Technology and Lappeenranta university of Technology
The target of the project was to improve efficiency of work machines. Various principles to build electric-hydraulic hybrid systems was studied. Special focus was on optimal use of energy storages. The project accomplished a library of models and simulations for both components and whole hybrid systems. New knowledge was found out on how to control hydraulic cylinder using the electrical energy recovery system.  Full scale tests were done with fork lift mast movements.

HIMA - Human detection in work machine environment

  • 2007 - 2009
  • Budget 0,61 MEUR
  • Research partners VTT, Aalto University and University of Oulu
The main target of HIMA project was to develop reliable human detection in the immediate vicinity of a mobile work machine that meets safety regulations on feasible cost level (safety requirements e.g. SIL 2 or SIL3). The focus was in camera and radar technologies. Most applicable sensors were tested in various environments. Because any sensor alone did not reach the target the research focused on sensor combinations to achieve best detection reliability. The best and redundant results gave combination radar, infrared camera and stereo camera. One result was an open library of algorithms for human detection.

TINAT - Automated testing during the work machine integration stage

  • 2008 - 2009
  • Budget: 0,6 MEUR
  • Research partners Tampere University of Technology and VTT
TINAT project studied demands and methods of automated testing for complex control systems. It generated a concept which uses simulation models in automated control system tests.  The main features are management of test cases an database, controlling the test operations, running real time tests and test data analyzing and visualization.

GIM Integrator - Generic Intelligent Machine platform

  • 2007
  • Budget 0,3 MEUR
  • Research partners Aalto University and Tampere University of Technology
The target was to build an infrastructure and test machines for the future autonomous worksite research. The GIM testbed is situated at Tampere University of Technology. The worksite includes outdoor test field and 20mx20m test hall equipped with state-of-the-art communication and positioning devices. For full-scale testing several work machines of different sizes are available. The machines can be operated manually, remotely or autonomously. GIM simulator is a digital copy of test machines and it can be used for test planning and analyzing.
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