Here are some more details on our motion system design software. Vectioneer presented the current status at last week’s Blender Conference.
Below you can see a screencast of the use of our new Motion System Design software. Our in-house developed simulation software is extended with a Blender frontend for easy user interaction.
With the software it is possible to intuitively design any parallel mechanism. The software calculates important system metrics on the fly, so it becomes very easy for the designer to optimize the design.
The video shows how the parameters of a Hexapod System, such as joint locations and payload center of gravity location, are changed to arrive at an asymmetric Hexapod design. At the end a detailed report is generated describing the system design and the requirements for all subsystems such as gearboxes, servomotors, joints, worst case forces.
The video below shows an animation of 3DOF motion system design, where the system is put in a certain pose when the brakes on the actuators are released and the system freefalls to a steady state. All system dynamics are modelled including payload and drive system inertias and coulomb friction.
As you can see from the Google Analytics map above, showing this month’s number of unique page visits to the Vectioneer website, we attract visitors from all over the world!
Top 5 countries are:
- United States
The most popular pages are the ones on Flight and Driving Simulation and related to our Blender developments.
Vectioneer has developed a revolutionary intuitive design tool to design parallel mechanisms such as Hexapod or Crank Driven Motion Systems. The algorithms that provide the kinematic and dynamic modeling are written completely from scratch and are implemented in Python 3. The software allows to change designs very quickly and calculate system performance and component specifications on the fly. This way it is possible to show the effect of design changes in real-time.
Using this dedicated software the design process is much more efficient than using regular CAD packages to model and simulate the system in. We can provide our customers with a new motion design in mere hours, including a complete report of all the kinematic and dynamic requirements on the system components, such as maximum servo motor torques and velocities, average power consumption, worst case forces, maximum joint angles, motion enveloppe drawings, etc.
Although largely complete, the software is still under heavy development to add more features such as genetic algorithms to search for optimal mechanism solutions automatically.
For the user interface we use our favorite free software, Blender, which turned out to be perfect for the job. It provides a fast and stable platform and has an excellent interface to our own Python code. As an extra it can render amazingly realistic pictures and animations of our designs to impress our customers with.
The software is not for sale, but is used to design new custom motion systems for our customers.
Please contact us for more information.
For one of its customers Vectioneer has performed a concept study for a Serious Game using multiple Kinect Sensors. With the current prototype setup it is possible to use an array of Kinect Sensors to monitor an arbitrary large playing area.
The Microsoft Kinect Sensor is a low-cost 3D imaging device, developed for the Microsoft X-Box360 game console that allows for the evlopment of controller-less games. The Kinect’s 3D images can be interpreted by a number of free and commercially available software toolkits, that provide gesture recognition and skeleton tracking for one or more players in view.
The study that Vectioneer performed was aimed at using the Kinect as an evaluation device for physical games, without having the user constantly look at a representation of him-/herself (his/her avatar). The Kinect device is therefore not being used as a controller but as a valuation or scoring tool. The players have to perform a specific task in the playing field while the Kinect is providing feedback on their performance (such as speed, accuracy, posture). The lack of a graphic user interface to the player makes the game feel much more natural and avoids that the player constantly needs to perform the mental transform that is involved by watching your own avatar on a screen. It was also investigated if the Kinect sensors can be used for object tracking in combination with skeleton tracking.
For more information, please feel free to contact us.
Vectioneer has moved into a new office building, centrally located in Maastricht, where we have plenty of room to expand our business.
Vectioneer wishes you a SPECTACULAR 2012!
While I was at Lockheed Martin in Forth Worth, Texas, earlier this year I got the chance to fly the Joint Strikefighter (F35 Lightning II) Engineering Flight Simulator. Since I was part of the design team (System Engineer) for the Motion System of this unique flight simulator I know this system quite well and this was actually the second time that I got to fly it. Of course the cockpit was partly switched off for security reasons, but primary flight controls where available and kept me busy enough.
Normally, fighter simulators do not use motion systems, since the accelerations in the aircraft cannot nearly be reached by a normal hexapod motion system. The F35 however also comes in a version with short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities (STOVL), where the accelerations are much more moderate. The vertical landing part is also a very critical phase in the flight envelope, which requires the avionincs to work together with the pilot to stabilize the aircraft. To test various avionics setups in the simulator and accurately involve the pilot in this closed-loop experiment, the F35 Engineering Simulator does require a very fast motion system.
The capabilities of the motion system are substantial, especially the high roll rates of up to 40 degrees per second and the large excursions required an optimized hexapod design. Engineering such a high performance hydraulic motion system also brings particular challenges, such as the extremely high accelerations that can occur when the servovalves close suddenly. Therefore, for this system a new servovalve setup was developed to reduce the peak forces while keeping the nominal system reponse at the desired levels.
Flying this simulator can only be described as being awesome. I consider myself very lucky to have flown it a couple of times and I feel proud to have designed this angry beast of a motion system.
(Thanks to Lockheed Martin for providing this picture)