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.
Development of Real-Time Battery Models for HIL testing of Battery Management Systems (BMS)
The explosion in the use of electronic devices, electrified vehicles and decentralized power utilities (e.g. smart grids) has driven demand for rechargeable batteries, creating a thriving and growing market. Current projections indicate that the global market for rechargeable batteries will be approximately $60 billion in 2015, growing at around 9% per year. This has led many of the major electronics companies to enter the market, with offerings targeting a range of applications: from small and light-weight for hand-held devices to batteries the size of shipping containers for utilities. It has also led to a significant increase in research investment into battery technologies to address many of the technical challenges facing this industry, ranging from increasing specific energy (the amount of charge a cell can hold per kg weight) to thermal stability, battery life extension, and final disposal of spent materials at the end of a battery's life.In this paper, we will focus on one area of development in the context of a project recently carried out by Maplesoft and its partner, ControlWorks Inc, of South Korea. Specifically, we will cover the development of a Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) testing system for the Battery Management Systems (BMS) used in one of our client's larger electrical energy storage products, targeting the Smart Grid and UPS markets.
Symbolic Techniques for Model Code Optimization: FMI Applications
Due to the way products are developed today, engineers increasingly have to take components from different suppliers and integrate them into their final product. The ability to take work developed within many different tools and accurately model the real-time behavior of the integrated system is of paramount importance. Having an open standard that supports model exchange and co-simulation has many benefits for engineers. To this end, FMI is an increasingly important standard for engineering system design, testing, and integration.To perform meaningful testing of integrated systems, engineers need high-fidelity models that not only accurately represent the system being tested, but are also capable of running in real time. Maplesoft’s symbolic technology is a proven physical modeling technique that significantly improves model fidelity without sacrificing performance. By applying the FMI standard to export that model, and then using a tool such as the dSPACE SCALEXIO platform for integration and HIL testing, engineers now have a very viable option for rapid plant model development.
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