The DLR Robotic Motion Simulator uses KUKA's mass-produced industrial robot components, thus saving a great deal of the cost normally attributed to commercial motion simulators. In 2006 KUKA re-purposed its robot arm for theme parks with the RoboCoaster, followed by the RoboSim 4-D Simulator in 2009, so it was only a matter of time before the German Aerospace Center modified the arm for its own purposes.
The KUKA robot arm is strong enough to lift a car chassis, so it's perfectly suited to lifting and spinning you around inside a lightweight virtual reality cabin. Once you're strapped in, the top shell of the pod acts as a hemispherical projection screen, giving you a wide field of view. The arm provides pitch, yaw, and roll, while the entire rig moves back and forth on a track.
Developed to study human-machine interfaces, simulation environments, visualization and more, the system uses the commercially-available Modelica software. Researchers at DLR have been contributing to the Modelica software library for more than a decade, including the development of DLR SimVis. It can simulate complex physical systems including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and other sub-components for a variety of vehicles and scenarios.
To take advantage of this flexibility, the DLR Robotic Motion Simulator features modular components that can be switched in short order to suit a variety of situations – from driving a road vehicle to flying a helicopter or other aircraft. T