Animation, Visualization and Real-Time Control of Automated Ammunition Handling Manipulators

Period of Performance: 12/15/1998 - 06/30/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

American GNC Corp.
888 Easy Street
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


This SBIR project is to develop an animation, visualization and real-time control environment for automated ammunition handling manipulators. The emphasis is on the development of reusable hardware/software architectures and components for automated material handling and their applications to the Smart Crane Ammunition Transfer System (SCATS). The environment consists of a VME-bus target system with a VxWorks RTOS, a SUN workstation system with Tornado and ControlShell developing software tools, and a PC animation and visualization system with a Cimetrix Open Development Environment (CODE). These systems are connected to each other and transfer data through ethernet (TCP/IP) and serial channels (RS232). The SUN workstation system is a host to develop embedded real-time codes for the target system. The PC system is to perform the simulation, animation and visualization of robotic manipulators. The entire environment can run in two configuration modes: an off-line real-time animation simulation and control mode and an on-line realtime visualization and control mode. In the former mode, the environment is used to develop, test, and verify automatic control algorithms with a manipulator model, and in the latter, to refine, tune and test the control algorithms with a real manipulator. Although the environment developed in this project is targeted for SCATS, it can be used for various material-handling robotics. Therefore, the environment has wide commercial application potential. BENEFITS: The animation, visualization and real-time control environment developed in this project will enable cost reduction and time savings in the development of autonomous material-handling manipulators. It has wide commercial applications in industrial robotics.