In his first year of undergraduate studies at UBC Okanagan, Logan Tarasoff was introduced to the sport of powerlifting. According to Tarasoff, the sport encouraged him to establish clear goals to work towards. “If I had a competition coming up in 6 months, I could set some goals then work backwards to determine what I need to do in order to meet those goals.”
That focus and drive led to Tarasoff earning several medals at last month’s Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Newfoundland.
Originally from Kamloops, Tarasoff decided to attend the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan because he liked the smaller campus and its proximity to home. “I saw an opportunity for more interactions with faculty, and it has led to some strong working relationships with researchers on this campus.”
Tarasoff recently returned to campus, after a short hiatus, to start his Masters studies in electrical engineering. His research focuses on using computer vision to improve forestry harvesting equipment.
Inspired by his co-op experience in the forestry sector, Tarasoff is excited to get started. “I saw first-hand the trouble the current system experiences with accuracy related to variables like bark thickness and changes in environment.” Tarasoff points out that his co-op terms also provided insight into what a research project needs to succeed in industry.
Through computer-visioning, the system that Tarasoff plans on building will provide real-time assessments of the logs’ size and shape providing the automated harvester with fast and accurate information. Tarasoff is conducting his research under the supervision of Dr. Homayoun Najjaran in the Advanced Control and Intelligent Systems (ACIS) Laboratory. He will pursue his passion for learning more about robotics and automation in an industrial project in partnership with Axis Forestry.
Collaborations with logging contractors in the Interior has been one of the many benefits of conducting this research at UBC Okanagan. “We plan on going out to their sites, and getting their input into our progress.”
With most of the big manufacturers in the forestry sector outside North America, Tarasoff says his research will bring innovation to the industry leading to more affordable equipment and further efficiencies for Canadian producers.
Over the next couple of years, Tarasoff has a lot of goals both in powerlifting and his research. “I hope to place well at our next national competition as I will be competing in the open category, and more importantly, I want to create some computer vision algorithms that do what we want and demonstrate it can work as well if not better than a regular mechanical system.”