The simulation of complex physical processes and extensive control systems is often incomprehensible for a human user. Within this setting the work group “Motion Simulation and Virtual Reality” is engaged in augmenting complex simulations by making them intuitively understandable. This is achieved by using technology from the area of virtual reality, namely motions simulation and visualization.
For simulating motion impressions, a novel simulator, based on an industrial robot, was developed. It is depicted in figure 1. As opposed to the wide spread, hexapod based solutions, this robotic motion simulator features a larger and more dynamic working space while also being more cost-efficient. The improved working space allows the dynamic simulation of extreme scenarios, such as drifting around corners and overhead flights. At the same time, due to the usage of mass produced industrial robot components, the costs of the simulator were reduced significantly. In this context the work group develops path planning algorithms for industrial robot to dynamically generate motion impressions.
The own prototype, called DLR Robotic Motion Simulator, serves besides the enhancement of the simulator concept as well for the exploration in the area of human-machine-interfaces, simulation environments, visualization and many more. For the simulator to be easily customizable to serve all these different functions, it is designed highly modular. The instrumentation panel is exchangeable within short time and makes a wide range of simulation scenarios, such as air plane, car or helicopter, possible. All use the same simulation platform. Simultaneously the concept is applied to the development of commercial flight simulators for training purposes for pilots, which are realized in cooperation with industry partners.
For displaying visual impressions, the work group developed the program DLR SimVis, which is also commercially available as part of the DLR Visualization library of Modelica. An example of a SimVis image to visualize a simulation is depicted in figure 2. The outstanding feature of the DLR Visualization library is the easy integration in existing models and the integration of the physical model description and the visualization parameterization. These simulation scenarios of SimVis are used to visualize from multi-body systems over energy flow and thermal effects to user interfaces.