• Danny Mann smiling for the camera.
  • Professor & Head
    Department of Biosystems Engineering

    Room E2-376 EITC
    97 Dafoe Road W
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6

    Danny.Mann@umanitoba.ca
    204-474-7149

Biography

Professor Danny Mann grew up in western Manitoba where he attended school in Roblin and was introduced to the profession of agriculture on the family farm.

Danny received a B.Sc. degree in Agricultural Engineering (University of Manitoba, 1992), an M.Sc. degree in Biosystems Engineering (University of Manitoba, 1995), and a Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering (University of Manitoba, 1998). Danny joined the Department of Biosystems Engineering in 1998 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2004, and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2008. Administrative appointments include two years as an Associate Head (2006-2008), one year as Acting Head (2008-2009), and Head since 2009.

Danny is a registered Professional Engineer with the Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba. Within the University community, Danny is a Member of the Centre for Engineering Professional Practice and Engineering Education.

Aside from research, Danny has been heavily involved with curriculum development at the undergraduate level, especially the development of the Department’s innovative capstone program that spans the final three years of the program. Danny has been a member of the Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE) since 1998 and recently completed a two-year term as President. In 2006, Danny was the recipient of the CSBE Young Engineer of the Year Award and in 2011 was the recipient of the CSBE/SCGAB Glen Downing Award in recognition of outstanding work in the area of power and machinery. In 2019, Danny was named a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Bioengineering.

In 2021, Danny was one of the inaugural recipients of the Biosystems Engineering Alumni of Influence Awards established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering being awarded by the University of Manitoba.

Research

Area

Remote supervision of autonomous agricultural machines, utilization of waste biomass fibre from agricultural crops.

Expertise

Agricultural ergonomics, agricultural safety, agricultural machinery, remote supervision, assistive technologies.

Research description

Dr. Mann has established an innovative research program related to the design of agricultural machinery – specifically the role of human factors engineering in the development of semi-autonomous and autonomous agricultural machines. The concept of the driverless tractor has appeared in the scientific literature over the past couple of decades. If designed appropriately, autonomous agricultural machines should be able to reduce the demand on the farm worker possibly enabling one farm worker to remotely supervise multiple machines from a central location. The ultimate productivity of such a human-machine system will depend on the ability of the farmer to efficiently and effectively obtain information from each of the autonomous machines through an interface. Great importance must be placed on the design of the interface so that human interaction with the autonomous machine can be optimized. My research is founded on the assumption that it will be desirable for the farm manager to have an active supervisory role with autonomous agricultural machines. This assumption implies that the supervisor will be required to obtain real-time information from the autonomous machine, and that such information will be used to make critical control decisions. Historically, the human operator of an agricultural machine has been able to obtain real-time sensory information (visual and auditory) directly from the machine and the surrounding environment. It is hypothesized that such sensory information may also be valued by the individual tasked with remote supervision of an autonomous agricultural machine.

Graduate Student Opportunities

Dr. Mann does not have any graduate student opportunities available at this time.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters Mann, D. 2021. Human-Machine Interactions. In Fundamentals of Agricultural and Field Robotics, Eds. M. Karkee and Q. Zhang. Springer International Publishing, pp. 387-414. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-70400-1

Mann, D.D., U. Edet, M. Green, O. Folorunsho, A. Simundsson and F. Ogidi. 2021. Real-time sensory information for remote supervision of autonomous agricultural machines. In Technology in Agriculture. IntechOpen Refereed Papers.

Edet, U. and D.D. Mann. 2020. Remote supervision of autonomous agricultural machines: concepts and feasibility. Canadian Biosystems Engineering 62:2.1-.12. https://doi.org/10.7451/CBE.2020.62.2.1

Rakhra, A.K., M.K. Green and D.D. Mann. 2020. The influence of a user-centred design focus on the effectiveness of a user interface for an agricultural machine. Agricultural Sciences 11:947-965. https://doi.org/10.4236/as.2020.1111062

Edet, U. and D.D. Mann. 2020. Visual information requirements for remotely supervised autonomous agricultural machines. Applied Sciences 10,2794. https:// doi:10.3390/app10082794

Edet, U., E. Hawley and D.D. Mann. 2018. Design requirements of an interface for remote supervision of autonomous machines. Canadian Biosystems Engineering 60:2.19-2.31. https://doi.org/10.7451/CBE.2018.60.2.19

Panfilov, I. and D.D. Mann. 2018. The importance of real-time visual information for the remote supervision of an autonomous agricultural machine. Canadian Biosystems Engineering 60:2.11-2.18. https://doi.org/10.7451/CBE.2018.60.2.11