Web Based Robot Simulation Using
Martin Rohrmeier (IXOS Software AG)
The Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) enables the integration of interactive 3D graphics into the web. At the German Aerospace Center we have been using the new language in robotic applications from its beginning on. The shown project is an example of the possibilities of using it in web-based simulations. Specialized and expensive hard- or software is not needed, any web browser with a vrml viewer is able to run the program which makes the application independent from any underlying hardware platform. There was put a special attention to building an efficient and usable interface for the standard pointing device. The functionalities provided by the 3D GUI are easy to use and internationalized because self-explaining symbols were used instead of language. Together with Java and VRML's External Authoring Interface (EAI) the simulation can also be used for visualizing and telemanipulating real robots which was the original intention behind the development of this work.
Virtual Machines for Message Based, Real-Time and
Hansoo Kim and Chen Zhou (Georgia Insititute of Technology) and Hua X. Du (Siemens AEA)
An advanced processing machine interacts with the material handling system, personnel and cell or shop floor controller in real-time via messaging and control. However, current simulation models are normally built with simulation software tools that are not designed to explicitly model machine interactions. In this research, we develop a modular design of simulation tools. One of the fundamental building blocks is the virtual machine module that simulates machine behavior in terms of state change and its interface. The modular design offers the ability to interact with the surroundings via messaging, similar to real machines. The virtual machine can be used to help develop shop floor controllers and machine controllers, and to test different shop floor control strategies interactively. Its control console can be used for operator training as well.
Avatar Kinematics Modeling for Telecollaborative
Cristian Luciano and Pat Banerjee (University of Illinois at Chicago)
This paper introduced the application of a more efficient mathematical representation of the kinematics of avatars, or digital human beings, in telecollaborative virtual reality environments (VRE). The human head, torso and arms were modeled as a redundant eight-degree-of-freedom kinematics structure using an alternative tool to transformation matrices, called dual quaternions. This approach achieves an extremely fast and accurate iterative algorithm that converges to one possible solution of this inverse kinematics problem. The method was implemented and tested in a CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment to demonstrate its performance in real time.
The IMS Mission Architecture for Distributed
Charles McLean and Frank Riddick (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
This paper presents an overview of a neutral reference architecture for integrating distributed manufacturing simulation systems with each other, with other manufacturing software applications, and with manufacturing data repositories. Other manufacturing software applications include, but are not limited to systems used to: 1) design products, 2) specify processes, 3) engineer manufacturing systems, and 4) manage production. The architecture identifies the software building blocks and interfaces that will facilitate the integration of distributed simulation systems and enable the integration of those systems with other manufacturing software applications. The architecture is being developed as part of the international Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) MISSION project.
Neutral Template Libraries for Efficient Distributed
Simulation within a Manufacturing System Engineering Platform
Kai Mertins, Markus Rabe, and Frank-Walter Jaekel (Fraunhofer-IPK)
The MISSION project develops an environment for integrated applications of simulation tools which can be offered by different vendors. The template library supports the generation of models from the view of the application instead of simulation tool features. The selection of simulation tools applied is performed with the mostly completed, but still neutral model. The template library is a reservoir of neutral re-usable elements incorporating their major attributes, and referencing to implementations of these models in different simulation tools. Within the manufacturing system engineering (MSE) process, the template library is mainly used as a flexible knowledge base. For this purpose, attributes can be defined depending on the design agents applied. Some attributes are predefined according to the requirements of the MISSION modelling platform (MMP) or according to available user requirements. The user has the chance to add templates and attributes of templates. Furthermore, the user can use objects of these templates within the MSE process. Concerning the simulation process, the template library contains for each application template a reference to simulation models. The simulation model implements the content of the template. The paper presents the template library approach and a short introduction to the MISSION platform.
Automatic Generation of Simulation Models from Neutral
Libraries: An Example
Young Jun Son (The University of Arizona), Albert T. Jones (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Richard A. Wysk (The Pennsylvania State University)
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have proposed the development of neutral libraries of simulation components. The availability of such libraries would simplify the generation of simulation models, enable component-based modeling, and speed Internet-based simulation services. The result would be a reduction in the complexity of simulation modeling and analysis. In this paper, we consider a discrete-event simulation of the flow of jobs through a job shop. We describe the information requirements for the components in that simulation and provide formal models based on those requirements. We then derive a database structure from these formal models and discuss the population of that database with the data entries for a sample job shop. Finally, we examine the translators we developed to go from the neutral representation of the simulation compo-nents to the representation required by a commercial simulation package.
Simulation in the Future
Jerry Banks (Brooks Automation, AutoSimulations Division)
Seven panelists, all simulation consultants, give their view of the future of simulation. There is some consistency in the views with four areas being mentioned by three of the panelists, and four areas being mentioned by two of the panelists. However, depending on how the counting is performed, there are approximately a dozen other areas with just one mention.
Stephen Kasputis (VisiTech) and Henry C. Ng (Naval Research Laboratory)
While there has been much attention paid to the applications of Modeling and Simulation by the Department Of Defense (DOD) lately, little has been done to address those broad technology areas that enable application-oriented simulations to be more easily constructed, run and analyzed. Model Composabilty is the ability to compose models/modules across a variety of application domains, levels of resolution and time scales. A composability framework for simulations offers a quantum leap in capability and provides the sought after ease of use. However, Composability is still a frontier subject in modeling and simulation and current capability is limited. While model reuse is close to the Holy Grail of M&S, the goal is not within sight. We are discovering that unless models are designed to work together -- they don't (at least not easily and cost effectively). Without a robust, theoretically grounded framework for design, we are consigned to repeat this problem for the foreseeable future. This position paper outlines the challenges and basic researches that are needed for composable simulation developments.
Model Composability as a Research Investment:
Responses to the Featured Paper
Paul C. Davis (RAND Graduate School of Policy Studies), Paul A. Fishwick (University of Florida), C. Michael Overstreet (Old Dominion University) and C. Dennis Pegden (Rockwell Software, Inc.)
Responses to the featured paper are provided by four authors who represent different elements of the simulation research community: industry, private research laboratory, and university. As is evident from the reactions given, these perspective provide both shared and distinct observations on model composability as an opportunity for research investment.