Multigen II Databases

In the development of the graphical simulation used by Space Systems Laboratory for many of the robotic projects, models of each project and the environment were created using Multigen II. Instead of hand writing the code, within the graphical simulation, to draw each object Multigen II is used to generate the graphical models and set up the way those models move. The graphical simulation then imports those models and manipulates them creating a virtual environment mimicking the real world robotic environment.

Multigen II Calendar Submission

The following are three submissions we gave to Multigen to consider in their 1999 calendar. Look for us on the back cover. Multigen II is a visual simulation modeling program, to learn more about this product go to the Multigen Web site. All of the models displayed the neutral buoyancy robotic projects.

 Front view of fluids box replacement(On the Back Cover of the 1999 Multigen calendar)

This picture shows the front of Ranger as it performs a fluids box maintenance task. SCAMP and SSV still look on providing additional views. However Ranger uses stereo cameras in its body and on a video arm to assist in performing the task. The NBRF tank is also included.

 Ranger, SCAMP, and SSV

This picture highlights three of the robotic projects in a typical testing configuration. Ranger is performing maintenance on the Spacelab pallet mock up. SCAMP and SSV are used to provide additional camera views of the area.

 Ranger, SCAMP, and SSV in the NBRF

This is the same picture as above with the addition of the Neutral Buoyancy Research facility. This tank holds over 367,000 gallons of water, color attenuation has been added simulating the water's effects.

Multigen II Flight Databases

The follwing are screenshots of each of the Multgen II database models that are used by the graphical simulation.

 main.flt

This file combines all of the other databases, to include each project and structure inside the Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility (NBRF) tank. Switch statements are used to allow multiple copies of the vehicles, this is necessary for the graphical simulation to perform it function correctly. However, there is little need to have several copies of these vehicles when viewing the database.

 pallet.flt

This is the SpaceLab pallet which Ranger will be attached to during the Shuttle mission. Different task elements are arranged to allow Ranger to perform several example space maintenance tasks during flight.

 palletNBV.flt

This is a mockup of the SpaceLab pallet we use at the Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility (NBRF). There currently are less task elements, however Ranger has performed several underwater test working on these tasks.

 ranger2.flt

This is the model for Ranger, a four armed telerobot which is design to perform maintenance tasks in space. switch statements are used to display each of the four arms. Also two additional arms are given, these arms are illustrate the difference between the underwater version and the space version of Ranger. Also several arms use switch statements to change the end effector, or robotic hand, to specific tools

 scamp.flt

This is the model for SCAMP, this free flying (or swimming) object moves around carrying a video camera. This vehicle is used to get into smaller, and potential more dangerous locations, to provide an additional camera view of operations in the NBRF.

 ssv.flt

SCAMP Space Simulation Vehicle (SSV) is designed similar to SCAMP. However, its purpose is not only to provide additional views of underwater operations but also to be used as a Space Simulator. Advanced control algorithms, with the neutral buoyant environment, are used to give SSV a greater realism on flying a vehicle in space.

 tank.flt

This this the 25 foot deep tank at the Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility. This underwater tank is used to simulate space by using the effect of buoyancy on objects. When "weighed" properly objects in the tank will not float or sink, they will stay where they are. And if push against, the object will float similarly to the same object floating in space. Although water drag does exist, neutral buoyancy is a valid method of space simulation used by NASA to train astronauts how to work in space.