Multibody System Dynamics
Interface between Real World and Virtual Reality
Virtual systems have become reality, in particular when developing virtual prototypes for research and practical application. The use of multibody system dynamics methods allows the representation of a real mechatronic system (e.g. of a vehicle or robot) as an analytical, physical–mathematical model, which subsequently enhances a profound understanding of dynamic phenomena and real system characteristics. Only opening a “black box” and looking at the details gives essential information on crucial causalities. Besides the correct use of methods and multibody system dynamics simulation software, in some cases only the further development of specific components within commercial software or application of own programme code makes it possible to find optimal solutions of technical problems.
For example, studies with a virtual prototype can help to identify the influence of specific design parameters on dynamic system behaviour already at an early stage of product development, without having to fall back on the assembly of a time-consuming and costly real prototype. Properties of elastic structures may be incorporated by FE-methods in a simplified system model preferably based on rigid bodies and idealised joints. Interfaces to other mathematical simulation software enable the integration of real system components into a virtual prototype (Hardware/Software-in-the-Loop) or development of control strategies. By modelling human behaviour, it may then be possible to observe and analyse the interaction between mechanical components, a controller, and a human operator, which makes it possible to avoid resulting problems at an early stage.