Drone simulation - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in a city center
The SimplyCube can be used for advanced simulation projects, such as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) simulations. In this UAV simulation, we have represented the DraganflyerX6 drone, which can be controlled either manually or automatically. A camera is mounted on the drone, as well as inclinometers, which permit to judge of the realism of that simulation which includes wind.
Here is a video of this simulation:
The following video shows how to use MATLAB with the SimplyCube, in the case of UAV simulation:
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Simulations
The SimplyCube includes technologies dedicated to aerial behaviors, such as edition tools which enable to easily create simulated drones: A generic “Drone” object is implemented (on which you can add generic customizable "Rotor" objects), and which provides methods to calculate altitude, GPS coordinates, acceleration, orientation…
The SimplySim advantage : The user who wants to create an UAV simulation only has to implement the drone control algorithms without taking care of the 3D simulation part.
The following examples illustrate contexts of 3D real time simulation for UAVs and more generally for any unmanned system:
- Fast prototyping: 3D simulation can help establishing a rapid proof of concept of an application for a case study.
- AI Software validation: Testing the software that will drive an UAV in a 3D simulation that model realistically the environment and mission the UAV will face. 3D real time simulations also allow to test scenarios systematically and to interact in real time with the simulation.
- Operator training: In most cases, UAV are not fully autonomous and they therefore require highly trained human operator to accomplish their mission. Simulation enables the operator to train himself in realistic conditions and scenarios.
UAVs in simulated environments
The SimplySim advantage: The SimplyCube simulation engine, our 3D/physic/web-service based engine, is a professional simulation solution that allows both complex scenarios and rapid reconfiguration. Its web-service architecture allows the simulation to be easily linked to any control device or software.
The SimplySim UAV simulation solution recreates the real world physics constraints (including noisy data). Air damping, Solid collisions and several other physic constraints on objects are represented with a high level of realism.
SimplySim provides the SimplyPhysics. An editor with a user friendly interface to customize every 3D object’s physic parameters, such as the mass, linear air damping, angular air damping, static friction, dynamic friction, elasticity, softness…
To make the program even easier for the user, default parameters exist for the most common materials.
SimplyPhysics - Edition of physic shapes and properties
The SimplySim advantage: Our physics editor, the SimplyPhysics, offers a complete and easy-to-use interface to modify 3D object physic properties.
For unmanned aerial system simulations, it is important to have a model for the wind. We consider that simulate precise real world conditions is a priority, to validate drone flying algorithms in a windy environment.
The SimplyCube engine simulates wind with 3D or 2D force field maps (see the image below).
2D wind map generation process
The SimplySim advantage: The WindMapGenerator solution, developed by SimplySim, allows the user to generate a 2D or 3D wind map in a few steps, based on simple parameters, which bring results close to real wind.
Drones do not all have the same use. Some of them may use a camera, and need image processing; other may include more measurement instruments (barometer, thermometer…) or may have to carry weapons.
SimplySim has created another module, which includes the possibility to mount easily that kind of devices on a drone (or any other 3D object), and let them work as the real devices.
Sensor and actuator configuration
The SimplySim advantage: Based on web-service architecture, the SimplyDevice offers the possibility to add sensors and actuators easily on 3D models (by drag-and-drop), the user then just has to implement the behavior of his system.
Multi physics engine capabilities
SimplySim offers the most generic physics engine solution available nowadays. The different physics engines available on the market have advantages and drawbacks depending on the kind of simulation you want to create (in terms of size, number of objects, physic behavior…). SimplySim has chosen to take advantage of these differences to propose a physics simulation solution that adapts itself to the specificities of every simulation, using different physic engines.
The SimplyCube upgrades the performances of those engines, and provides an easy-to-use generic user-interface that allows the user to choose the physic engine he wants to work with.
The SimplyCube is currently implemented for two of the most accurate physic engines on the market: NVidia PhysX and Newton Game Dynamics.
The SimplySim advantage: The SimplyCube offers the possibility to use the any physic engine (Newton, PhysX…) into the SimplySim simulation solution, via a very simple interface.
There are also several details about this simulation that you can read on our blog.
SimplySim does not only provide tools for drone simulations, but works on many other aerial simulation projects.