Archive for the ‘Motion Sim Development’ Category:

Delta development

This is version 4: The development of this part of the Impulse Portal has been very difficult. Many hours of coding, and then recoding was poured into the creation of our chair rig. I had to learn a few new applications just to get it to move properly, but it finally works! The motors are driven by an Arduino, by re-purposing a RAMPS 1.4 driver board which is actually for 3D printers. The commands are sent from the PC via an GUI application written in “Processing”. This was a huge step up from typing code into a serial monitor, and it
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The new workshop

Our holidays are over and we are now renovating our new house, complete with double garage: also known as the new workshop! I am thrilled with the idea of moving into a larger work space to build and tinker. There is only so much one can build in a large garden shed.     It doesn’t look like much, but stay tuned. We will update as we make progress. All it needs is some benches, some tools and some better lighting. And maybe a better photographer…  

Feedback loops and instability

Big steps forward and a few small losses, but altogether positive. I have now finished incorporating the code for the optical encoders, but as you would expect with such feedback, the system has become slightly unstable. As the pitch axis moves towards it’s setpoint (as determined by serial input) it is travelling at full speed. When it reaches the destination there is enough momentum to carry the gimbal past it’s setpoint. Then the system tries to correct by driving full speed in the opposite direction. This action is repeated indefinitely, and is something I knew was coming. It is the
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Information pipeline integration.

Christmas time is busy, much more than usual. I would like to have found a little more time for this blog and my home projects, but I guess that’s how it goes. Still I have made some progress. I’ve finished rewriting the code which drives my prototype, and it now includes communication modules for talking to Simtools. The information pipeline is complete. Now I need to modify the type of information being sent. The flow of information goes as follows: * Video game (position data such as X, Y, Z coordinates and Pitch, Roll and Yaw heading): * * Simtools
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Slow and Steady Progress

OK, not so much has happened lately. My focus has been on renovating the house and finishing my extra night classes. But I still try. I have ordered a 600 pulse / revolution rotary encoder to test with the rotational prototype. I am trying to reduce drift on the steppers, as the only position control they have at the moment is via internal software tracking. When the load gets too high, they skip a few steps here and there.When I first set everything up it worked pretty good, but since adding the LEGO driving man and his chair, the rig got
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Birth Of The Impulse Portal

It finally has a name. The Impulse Portal. It took a great deal of time to come to, but it was worth it. Recently, I have had a little down time from the project to clear my head. Instead I’ve been learning how to code in Unity3D, making small video games. It’s been fun, but I still want to make progress on the sim. So this is the perfect time to detail some history on the build so far. The rotational mechanism is made up of three main sections, the inner gimbal (which rotates the roll axis), the mid gimbal
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More kinematics and updates

I’ve been busy. I have now learned how to make “gif” images, so I made some gifs of the kinematics that I had been playing with. This helps to understand the maths a whole lot more, and give an impression of what is going on. Here is some of the first ideas:   Lately most of my time has been working on a better model of the above image, after all it is pretty crude. The maths has been sorted, but now I need a working model which can exist in the real world as the phase 2 prototype. It’s
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On to phase 2

Ok, I think I have phase 1 completed. The software that drives my rotational motion sim has since been modified to include acceleration and deceleration profiles. At the moment I have only done it with linear acceleration, but they were written with the ability to change later, if logarithmic or exponential profiles fit better. It seems to function pretty well, and I am happy with it. I have also modified the communications side of things, so that a string of data can be sent via an application instead of punching in numbers on a keyboard. Now all I need is
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It’s Alive!!!!

Mwah ha ha haa. It’s working. I finished the slip rings on the motion sim prototype, tested the internal motor and… it works!! I’m so excited. I suppose I should give a little bit of background before I get carried away. The motion sim prototype has 2 full rotation axes, driven by stepper motors, and will have 3 linear axes, driven by servo motors. At the moment I have built the frame and installed both stepper motors for the rotational axes. These are pitch (parent) and roll (child). The roll motor has to be located right in the centre gimbal
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It all begins somewhere…

I have been meaning to put one of these together for a while now, but have only just found the time. However, an introduction is order. My name is Andrew, and I like to think I’m an amateur inventor. Really I am an Industrial Electrician by day, hobby inventor by night. I spend most of my “spare”  time tinkering in my shed, as many people do, but what I tinker on is machines. Ambitious machines. None of my projects are ever completed, but not in a lazy “I can’t be bothered” way. The projects I work on get to a
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