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3-D Online Animation of Simulated Mechanical Systems in Real Time

dSPACE MotionDesk is a 3-D online animation software application that visualizes the results of hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations for ECU tests. MotionDesk supports hardware simulation platforms from dSPACE, such as SCALEXIO and DS1006. The tool also supports offline simulation based on dSPACE VEOS and Simulink®. Recently, new features for developing and testing ADAS scenarios were added. These include camera sensor simulation during which MotionDesk video data is fed directly to the camera ECU and ideal point-cloud sensor models for the development of radar and lidar sensors.

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    MotionDesk is now available as native 64-bit software providing users with even better performance, especially when working on highly complex projects. The introduction of a new ribbon-based user interface has markedly improved usability.

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    The newest version of the 3-D visualization software MotionDesk offers new features for developing and testing ADAS scenarios. These include camera sensor simulations during which MotionDesk video data is fed directly to the camera ECU and ideal point-cloud sensor models for the development of radar and lidar sensors.

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Application Areas

The best way to understand the behavior of a simulated system is to use animated visualization in realistic 3-D scenes. Combining a simulation system with real-time animation is the ideal way to get the whole picture. Since animations can be recorded and replayed, it is easy to compare different controller development strategies by using overlay techniques. MotionDesk enhances the dSPACE tool chain by visualizing how mechanical objects move in the 3-D world. MotionDesk is the perfect tool to visualize any kind of vehicle dynamics concept and driving maneuvers, such as lane change, split-μ, and cornering.

Key Benefits

MotionDesk helps you get more out of your HIL simulator, visualizing your simulation in virtual worlds that represent the simulation scenarios exactly. MotionDesk reads the data from the HIL simulator and displays the animation of the moving objects (vehicle, wheels, steering wheel, etc.) in real time, using the perspectives and render modes that you choose yourself, to give you a clear understanding of how the simulated objects actually behave. You can store the animations as experiment files and record video files to document and illustrate your developments.

Support of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

MotionDesk provides enhanced support for all ADAS aspects, where the complexity of an action has to be seen to be understood. When an ADAS is tested, the visualization must be realistic enough for object recognition, and a high frame rate is crucial.

MotionDesk’s rendering engine guarantees detailed and realistic visualization. Even complex scenes can be rendered at a steady rate of 60 frames per second, and beyond.

For camera-based system tests as well as for radar and lidar developments, MotionDesk comes with valuable features, such as optical path simulations, camera sensor simulations, and ideal point-cloud sensor models. These features support developers of camera, radar, and lidar sensors in their work and simplify the test setup significantly, e.g., by eliminating the need for a simulation box with a camera ECU filming MotionDesk.

Feature Description Benefit
Instant animation
  • Powerful rendering engine
  • Low latency between simulation and animation
  • Intuitive motion model to accurately position the observer in the scene
  • Smart objects for simulating and visualizing state-dependent objects stimulated by the real-time simulation model (e.g., traffic lights, brake lights, direction indicators)
  • Detailed and realistic visualization
  • Even complex scenes can be rendered at a steady 60 frames per second.
  • Realistic man-in-the-loop simulation
Multitrack mode
  • Visual comparison of simulation run with reference data tracks
  • Parameter behavior studies
Force vector visualization
  • Forces represented graphically, e.g., by arrows
  • You can easily see which forces influence motion and how
3-D scene creation
  • Graphical interactive scene design
  • Scene creation integrated in MotionDesk
  • All done via drag & drop
  • Automatic generation of guard rails, noise barriers and environment objects
  • Automation API for remote-controlling MotionDesk
  • Automatic scene generation based on ModelDesk scenery types like city, highway, country road, alley, etc.
  • Precise definition and visualization of lane lines
  • Support of free lane lines and markings, delineators and safety barriers
  • Easy, intuitive operation
  • Operation from one tool
  • Fast scene creation and modification
  • Synergy with other tools for optimized workflow
  • Exact representation of lane lines is a necessity for developing and testing lane assistant systems
3-D object library
  • 3-D object libraries based on standardized COLLADA file formats
  • Imports and migrates VRML2
  • 3-D object search via keywords and names
  • Grouping 3-D objects
  • Steadily growing library of 3-D objects: cars, houses, trees, etc.
  • Animated characters (optional)
  • International traffic signs (optional)
  • Easy migration from older MotionDesk versions
  • 3-D object libraries can be extended by user-defined objects in COLLADA
  • Better overview of all objects
  • Better scene structures
  • More than 1200 3-D objects available for creating detailed and realistic scenes for various use cases from vehicle dynamics to advanced driver assistance systems and Car2x
Lossless, time-based data acquisition
  • Time-based simulation data acquisition with equidistant time stamps
  • Synchronized replay of recorded animations in real time
Speed control
  • Variable slow- and fast-motion replay
  • You can slow down the animation to observe details and speed it up during uneventful sections
Video file generation
  • Animations exported into video files (AVI, MPEG-4, etc.)
  • Archiving and distributing important animations
Multi-PC support
  • Scalable visualization system for interactive driving simulators via Multi-PC Interface Kit or directly with SCALEXIO simulators
  • More views increase realism during man-in-the-loop simulation
Optical path simulation
  • Simulation of optical paths for behind-sensor-stimulation (simulation of visual features such as lens distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting in MotionDesk)
  • No need to setup a simulation box with camera ECU filming MotionDesk
Ideal point-cloud sensor model
  • Reflection points of traffic environment with high 3-D angular resolution
  • Different values for each reflection point: Distance, azimuth/elevation angle, relative speed, etc.
  • GPU-based camera sensor models in MotionDesk
  • Basis for development of radar and lidar sensors

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