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An Integrated Simulation Design With Three Dimensional Motions And A Hydraulic Stewart Simulator

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Innovative Curriculum in Electrical Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.184.1 - 13.184.17

Permanent URL

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Paper Authors

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Cheng Lin Old Dominion University

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Gene Hou Old Dominion University

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Yuzhong Shen Old Dominion University

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Hector Garcia Old Dominion University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Redesign of the Stewart Flight Simulator Platform with Real-Time Sensing and Actuation Abstract

This paper presents an integrated design process and tests of a Stewart simulator with a virtual visualization tool, which uses Virtools to create and generate three-dimensional motions. An inverse kinematic algorithm is written to convert each visualized motion to the displacements of six cylinders in a Stewart motion simulator. Information of the displacements is then transferred through the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to a personal computer which has the LabVIEW software. An NI USB-6251 data acquisition device is applied to interact with the LabVIEW program and the Stewart hydraulic simulator. The approach presented in this paper to function an old Stewart hydraulic simulator can also be applied to other simulators.

1. Introduction

The major objective of this project is to develop a prototype system which can simulate the motion of a water craft when it is driven through different waves and obstacles. This physical simulator will also facilitate a virtual and interactive environment to support for the future design and studies of water craft dynamics, sea keeping and human-craft interaction. Figure 1 shows the flow chart of the project. The main components include a wave model, a simulated water craft with an interactive control tool, a joystick, a Stewart platform, and a data acquisition device. The three-dimensional virtual visualization environment is created by using the software of Virtools1 and a joystick is applied to maneuver the simulated water craft. Information of the craft motion is then transferred to a Stewart Stewart Platform2 manipulator through an inverse kinematics, a LabVIEW3 program, and a data acquisition device, which is an NI USB 62514. Communication between the Virtools PC and the LabVIEW PC is achieved by using the software of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) 5. Development of this project was demonstrated in one of the labs for the class of MET 415, Introduction to Robotics, at the Department of Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University. This project includes software programming, inverse kinematics, feedback-signal sensing, solenoid activation, electrical-circuit connections, and data communications. Descriptions of the main components are described in the following sessions.

2. Virtools

Virtools is a 3D application/simulation development environment that bundles together models and code into files that can be played by the Virtools Web Player. The simulation can be built inside the Virtools development environment, pulling together code, data, and models into a playable simulation. It's a robust and complete 3D engine (web- playable or standalone) with built-in physics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and server communications1.


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