MapleSim used to speed up development of high-fidelity robotic manipulator models
ABB's Robotics business unit evaluated MapleSim, the high-performance modeling and simulation platform from Maplesoft, to develop high-fidelity manipulator models that included flexible joints, gears, and dynamic friction, and to determine the ease with which the models can be exported and integrated with other software tools for simulation or controller development. Engineers found MapleSim eliminated the need to derive and manipulate equations, significantly reducing the time needed to model a manipulator.
All across the world today, industrial robots perform tasks that range from palletizing boxes in a warehouse, to transporting hoppers of ingredients across a food preparation factory, to precision welding on a vehicle assembly line. The successful completion of these tasks relies on the accurate control of the robotic manipulators to provide the required dexterity. With over 250,000 robots installed worldwide, engineers at ABB's Robotics business unit understand the challenges of designing and controlling robotic manipulators. Their design process includes rigorous testing with the aid of simulation models which they had been deriving using non user-friendly tools. The tedious nature of this process left them searching for a better solution.
Working with a research team from Linköping University in Sweden, via the industry excellence center LINK-SIC, engineers at ABB's Robotics business unit in Västerås, Sweden, set out to evaluate the use of MapleSim, the high-performance modeling and simulation platform from Maplesoft, to develop high-fidelity manipulator models that included flexible joints, gears, and dynamic friction, and to determine the ease with which the models can be exported and integrated with other software tools for simulation or controller development.
Their goal was to create high-fidelity models that were realistic enough to replicate the operation of a real manipulator, while still being able to run simulations on a regular desktop computer. While their previous process of deriving models using methods such as the Euler-Lagrange formulation worked well, MapleSim's graphical interface eliminated the need to derive and manipulate equations, drastically reducing the time needed to model a manipulator.
MapleSim's extensive library of built-in components enables users to simply drag and drop, then seamlessly connect components from different domains to create complex system-level models. This ease of creating models radically changed the way in which design engineers at ABB worked. They now had a more user-friendly and flexible modeling tool. Using a combination of multibody mechanics, 1-D mechanical, electrical and custom components, they were able to create multiple models of their robotic manipulator with MapleSim, in the same amount of time it was previously taking them to create just one model.
They used the time saved to apply different modeling approaches, and created models with different parameter values and levels of complexity, to determine how best to meet their design goals. Describing the flexibility that MapleSim offered them, Mikael Norrlöf, Motion Control Architect at ABB's Robotics business unit said, "MapleSim helped us to work faster and smarter. We were able to quickly create multiple models of our robotic manipulator design, and easily compare them, to determine the best fit."
Having built a series of models representing the manipulator, the next step was to integrate them with the rest of the system for testing. ABB performs system-level testing using a complex test environment built with Simulink®. Therefore, it is vital that the tool used to generate the manipulator...
Having built a series of models representing the manipulator, the next step was to integrate them with the rest of the system for testing. ABB performs system-level testing using a complex test environment built with Simulink®. Therefore, it is vital that the tool used to generate the manipulator models is able to export to, and integrate with Simulink. This capability is provided by the MapleSim Connector, which enables users to export any MapleSim model to Simulink, including models with custom components. The Connector automatically creates S-function blocks from the symbolically simplified system equations, thus creating code that is compact and highly efficient.
"Being able to export to Simulink is very important for us," said Mikael Norrlöf. "We were able to seamlessly integrate the models created with MapleSim into our test environment, without having to modify our established workflow. This was a key factor in our decision to adopt MapleSim for model creation."
The simulation results using the MapleSim models were comparable with measurements obtained from a real manipulator – demonstrating conclusively how MapleSim can be used to generate and export high-fidelity multidomain models that replicate their manipulator's behavior. As a result of the research carried out by the team from Linköping University, ABB has adopted MapleSim for model creation. As their engineers continue to develop new ways to increase the fidelity of the models they use to test their products, MapleSim will be an integral part of that process moving forward.
Simulink is a registered trademark of The MathWorks, Inc.
Published by Maplesoft, Inc. on 4 Feb 2016
For more information send an inquiry directly to Maplesoft, Inc.
Industry 4.0 and the Power of the Digital Twin
The world of industrial automation is undergoing a major transformation to the Next Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. Manufacturers can no longer afford the “build it and tweak it” approach that has long characterized many design projects. Instead, they must take a more systems-design approach by implementing rigorous systems-design processes that accommodate the complexities of developing multi-disciplinary systems. High-fidelity virtual prototypes, or Digital Twins, are at the core of this development process. Read this whitepaper to learn how early adopters are already benefiting from the power of the Digital Twin as part of their Industry 4.0 strategy.
Searching, Exploring and Visualizing Data using Maple
With the ever-expanding sea of available data and data repositories, navigating the vast quantities of information can be a difficult task. Maple, the advanced computing software from Maplesoft, is a powerful, interactive data visualization tool. Maple makes it easy to: searchfilterexplorevisualize dataThis paper presents several examples of how Maple can be used to search and filter large data repositories, explore and visualize the data in innovative ways and use the data to predict future behavior.
Engineer in France Develops Motorcycle Racing Simulator Using MapleSim
Mr. Frédéric Nicolo wanted to develop a motorbike simulator that performed at the same level as current automobile simulators, accommodating the unique features of motorbikes. He started his own venture, developing a simulator using MapleSim that ...22 Jun 2017
Maple 2017 Offers Increased Mathematical Power, Stronger Visualizations and Flexible Deployment Options
Maplesoft today announced a major new release of its flagship product, Maple, the mathematical software that makes it extremely easy to analyze, explore, visualize, and solve math problems. The result of over 30 years of development, Maple already has ...22 Jun 2017
New Connector by Maplesoft and Phoenix Integration Combines Engineering Insight and Efficiency
Maplesoft and Phoenix Integration announced a new plugin that enables engineers to easily incorporate Maplesoft software products Maple and MapleSim into the ModelCenter workflow integration and automation platform from Phoenix Integration. Th...11 May 2017
Designing an Industrial Pick-and-Place Robot
A leading provider of packaging machines was experiencing repeated motor failures with their pick-and-place robots, facing substantial replacement costs on a regular basis. The company chose Maplesoft to develop a high-fidelity parameterized model...11 May 2017
Researchers at the University of Waterloo use MapleSim in New Approach to Tire Modeling
Ideally, a tire model will accurately simulate the dynamics of the system and result in simulations that execute quickly. Unfortunately, existing tire models typically either do not model behavior to a high degree of accuracy, or they are very resource...15 Mar 2017
Maple Drastically Reduces Downtime of Steam Turbines by Improving the Ultrasonic Testing of Rotor Blades
Rotek, the maintenance branch of Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity provider, is using Maple, the technical computing software from Maplesoft, to design a comprehensive pre-inspection simulation model for use in the ultrasonic inspections of...8 Feb 2017
Maple Helps Hiab Simplify Their Crane Operation
Hiab, a leading provider of load handling equipment, is using Maple to design new ways to lessen the burden on crane operators and maintain safe and precise machine operation. Hiab selected Maple because of its ability to process complex matrix ma...7 Feb 2017
Latest MapleSim Release Improves Engineering Design Productivity
Maplesoft today announced a major new release of MapleSim™, an advanced system-level modeling and simulation platform used by engineers to reduce development time and gain insight into system behavior. The latest release provides tools that increa...6 Feb 2017
MapleSim used to speed up development of high-fidelity robotic manipulator models
ABB's Robotics business unit evaluated MapleSim, the high-performance modeling and simulation platform from Maplesoft, to develop high-fidelity manipulator models that included flexible joints, gears, and dynamic friction, and to determine the ease wit...4 Feb 2016