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Creating a Simulation Scene (Robotics Module)

LabVIEW 2013 Robotics Module Help

Edition Date: June 2013

Part Number: 372983D-01

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A simulation scene of a simulation program contains the components you want to simulate. Components in a Robotics Module simulation typically include the environment, or ground plus any attached features; robots, which might have sensors and actuators attached; and obstacles. Each component has associated properties that define its physical state. For example, gravity is a property of environments and mass is a property of robots.

You save information about components in a manifest file. When you run a simulation program that calls the manifest file, the simulator reads from the file and displays the scene.

Designing a Simulation Scene with Predefined Components

Use the Robotics Environment Simulator Wizard to design a robotics simulation scene that contains predefined components. After you design a scene, the wizard saves the simulation scene definition in a manifest file and generates simulation-related files in a LabVIEW project.

As you design a simulation scene in the wizard, you can perform the following actions to customize the Simulation Scene preview window.

Action Shortcut/Movement
Move the camera around the scene. Click and drag the environment.
Zoom in and out of the 3D scene. Hold <Shift>, and then click and drag in the 3D scene.
Zoom out to an overhead view of the environment. Double-click the 3D scene.
Zoom in and focus on an object. Double-click the object.
Reposition the environment or an object within the scene. Hold <Ctrl>, and then click and drag the environment or object.
Rotate an object around the axis you select in the Rotation Behavior pull-down menu. Click and drag the object.
Remove an object from the simulator. Select the object and press <Delete>.
Tip  The Robotics Environment Simulator Wizard displays helpful messages in the lower left corner, depending on where you position the cursor and what actions you take.

To modify the properties of a component, such as the mass of a robot, select the component in the simulation scene, and then click the property or value you want to modify in the Properties table at the bottom left of the wizard.

Designing a Simulation Scene with Custom Components

To design a simulation scene and components manually rather than with the Robotics Environment Simulator Wizard, you can use the Offline Configuration VIs to create a simulation scene on the block diagram and save it in a manifest file. One benefit of designing a simulation scene manually is the ability to associate a custom environment with the simulation scene.

Note  Using the Offline Configuration VIs to create a simulation scene is an advanced feature. To create a simulation scene that does not require custom components, use the Robotics Environment Simulator Wizard instead.

When you design a simulation scene manually, you define components individually, and then save their definitions in a manifest file. The following block diagram shows a simple example of defining an environment and robot and saving their definitions in a manifest file.

Note  Use SI units and SI-derived units when you define component properties.

The previous block diagram uses the following components to construct the manifest file:

  • New Simulation Object VIs specify the type of components to create.
  • Property Nodes define the unique properties of the new Starter Kit 1.0 robot and associate the robot with the new simulation instance.
  • The Save Simulation Instance VI saves a manifest file you can call in a simulation VI when you start the simulator.
Tip  To make a simulation scene accessible in the Robotics Environment Simulator Wizard, save the manifest file in the labview\resource\plugins\NewDialogFiles\ProjectWizards\Robotics\LV4R_SIM\Config\Template directory.

Refer to the Create Manifest File VI in the labview\examples\robotics\Simulator\iRobot Create directory for an example of manually creating a simulation scene and manifest file.

When you use the Offline Configuration VIs to create a simulation scene, you do not need to develop the simulation program in a LabVIEW project.

Reading and Modifying Properties of Components

After you create a robotics simulation scene and save the definition in a .xml manifest file, you can read or modify the properties of components in the manifest file.


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