My work as a control engineer

My work as a control engineer

I worked for Trimble for a few years. My team is in charge of the development of Trimble Earthworks.

What is Trimble Earthworks

Trimble Earthworks is an advanced grade control platform designed for earthmoving machinery. It’s used in construction and civil engineering to improve the productivity, accuracy, and efficiency of earthmoving operations. Here are some of the key features and details of Trimble Earthworks:

  1. Intuitive User Interface: Trimble Earthworks is known for having an easy-to-navigate touch-screen interface, which promotes ease of use and operator adoption. The software enables quicker learning and reduces operator fatigue.
  2. Android Operating System: The platform operates on the Android OS, allowing for a familiar experience for those accustomed to Android devices. It also means that operators can install third-party apps and have a more flexible, customizable experience.
  3. Integrated 3D Guidance: The system provides real-time 3D visuals of the site, the design, and the machine. This allows operators to see the exact position of their equipment relative to the desired grade and work more accurately.
  4. Automatics: Trimble Earthworks comes with semi-automatic or automatic blade control capabilities. These controls can automatically adjust the blade or bucket position to help operators stay on grade with minimal effort, which can increase productivity and reduce rework.
  5. Multi-Machine Solution: The software is compatible with a wide range of machines, including dozers, graders, excavators, compactors, and loaders. This versatility means that one platform can be used across an entire fleet of equipment.
  6. Earthworks Grade Control Platform for Excavators: It’s the industry’s first integrated 3D aftermarket grade control automatics for excavators. Operators can create smooth, flat, or sloped surfaces more easily.
  7. Support for a wide range of sensors: Trimble Earthworks can utilize a variety of sensors, including GNSS, lasers, sonic trackers, total stations, and tilt sensors to ensure accurate results.
  8. Remote Assistant: This feature allows remote support from a Trimble dealer, who can access the Earthworks display screen in real-time to help troubleshoot and train operators without being physically present.
  9. Customizable Interface: Operators can configure the interface to show just the information they want in the way they prefer. This customization can boost efficiency and comfort for the operator.
  10. Report Generation and Analysis: It provides detailed reporting and analysis tools for monitoring the productivity and efficiency of the worksite, helping to make informed decisions to optimize operations.

What my team do


My team is specifically handling the grade control algorithm.

Basically, each machine has a single or dual GNSS, Which is mounted on top of the machine.

Let say for a excuvator, the algorithm, is to mainly calculate accuratly the position of the bucket of the excuvator, given the GPS data.

The algorithm also trying te cancel out the vibration of the machine engine.

Matlab and Simulink

Our team mainly use Simulink, for its rapid prototyping, while also can generate C code, which can run with very low latency.

Kalman Filter

We use Kalman Filter for machine vibration noise cancelation.

However, the whole algorithm is proprietary, with lots of modifications for large machinary.

PID Loop