Posts Tagged ‘UAV’

SimplyCube beta, one month on…

March 10, 2010

About a month ago we launched the beta version of the simulation engine of the SimplyCube. It’s time to make an update on how things are going, what we’ve been doing lately, and what we’ll be doing next.

Microsoft Techdays video

The official launch of the SimplyCube beta was marked by a one hour introduction session at the Microsoft Techdays in Paris. Microsoft has just released the video of this session (embedded here, video in French) and of the other sessions of the TechDays (which I advise you to watch if you have time).

Watch SimplySim webcast at Techdays

SimplyCube beta

Today a little more than 150 first beta testers have received a copy of the SimplyCube beta, a larger number of you have already registered, but we’re increasing the number of allowed tester slowly to ensure everyone has a great experience. For now the feedback is mostly positive, and for the second month we’ll open the number of testers more freely. Be sure to register on our website, and you shall receive your download link rapidly.

SimplyCube box

Talking of our website, we have completed a few sections that were missing when we’ve launched it last month. Check out the gallery section and the product description section to see what have changed. These two more detailed sections should give you a better idea of what our product is about.

What’s next? Laval virtual 2010, more demo.

The major next step for SimplySim will be our presence at the Laval Virtual 2010. This tradeshow focused on Virtual Reality, but also simulations, serious games, and 3D marketing applications, will be the occasion for us to unveil the editors of the SimplyCube, more demo of what can be done with our product and to release more stuff in the beta.

laval virtual

One of the main demands about the beta was to get more available demonstrations and examples (I know at least a few of you want to get their hands on our UAV demo). We are currently working on a series of demonstration showing each step of a real project that should be a good addition to the tutorials already included in the demo. Julien Mercier, a student from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis who has joined us for a six month internship will be responsible for the creation of this series of demo. You can follow his progress day by day on the SimplyCube on his twitter account: @VB_Simply3D. This should be an interesting test for the ease of use of our product, to show what a trainee can achieve in a few weeks. You should also stay tuned to this blog and the twitter of SimplySim, as we’ll soon tell you a little more about these new demos.

More about our UAV simulation

November 27, 2009

Today, Loïc Morvan, who created the UAV  simulation (UAV stands for unmanned aerial vehicle). I have presented in a video last week, is going to tell us more about his work.

SimplySim UAV Simulation

Loïc, what is exactly behind this UAV simulation?

Well, this is a real physic 3D real-time simulation that you see here. It is based on Microsoft XNA for 3D rendering, and on different physic engines for physics. The simulated drone which is flying here has real physic attributes such as its mass, inertia, collision shapes… and it behaves realistically to torques and forces we apply to it. The physic equations are solved by precise discrete solvers, which make the drone having a behavior close to reality.

How did you build that simulated drone, and how long did that take?

The whole construction of the simulated drone did not take more than a few days.

First, we need the 3D model of the drone. That part of the work is done by our 3D designers, and it is actually the longer (1 or 2 days).

Then, we have to define the physic shapes of the drones, and physic constraints (mass, dynamic friction, static friction…). As the physic shapes are defined independently from the 3D model, we can choose our degree of complexity by using more or less accurate physic shapes.

Once the 3D model and physic properties are defined, I have attached some sensors, like the camera and the inclinometers.

Finally, I have added the rotors which are generic objects composed by a rotor blade and an engine (mechanic joint), so that the drone flying algorithm can be implemented.

That was over. The next step was to implement the drone control algorithms to test its behavior.

The simulated drone is supposed to behave like the real one, but you use generic objects, how can you explain that?

Generic objects such as the rotors have many parameters so that you can customize them to create your precise item. Here I have set particular max rotation speed and max torque for my rotors, but we could imagine setting other values for another drone.

What about the drone sensors (camera, inclinometers…)?

We also use generic elements. If you want to create a particular simulated motion camera, you just have to take our generic one and modify the parameters: size and quality of the pictures, number of frames per second, additional noise… That’s it!

Could you tell us more about how the wind is simulated?

The simulated wind is pre-generated considering the static objects (buildings…) which compose the simulation. This generation produces a 2D or 3D map which contains the wind information in each 3D point of the environment. Some of the algorithms we use for that come from the world of image processing.

The map is then inserted into the simulation and the wind is applied to every physic object.

You talk about “multi physic engine compatibility”, could you explain what it is exactly?

A physic engine is the program which computes the physic calculations. It contains the discrete solver used to integrate the equations. There are many physic engines available on the market: PhysX, Newton Game Dynamics, Havok, ODE…

Today, most of simulations are compatible with only one of these physic engines. What we do at SimplySim, is to provide the ability to be compatible with any of them, thanks to a technology that we have called SimplyDynamics. This is why we can talk about “multi physic engine compatibility”.

When you create a 3D simulation, do you only need the SimplyEngine?

No, I also need the 3D models of what I want to simulate. For the drone, we have modeled the drone and the 3D environment with 3D modeling tools which our not created by SimplySim. After that, we worked with the SimplyEngine and with our own edition tools.

Can you tell us a bit more about these edition tools ?

These edition tools represent an easy and graphic way to create the different parts of a simulation. For instance, we have one editor to design the physic properties, which is more user-friendly than typing code! There are a lot of other editors we prepare, some of them will be released in 2010, the goal is really to ease as much as possible the process of creating a 3D simulation.


Drone in city center video

November 20, 2009

Today we introduce a first video of the SimplyEngine (our new 3D simulation engine). This video shows a demo we created around the use case of a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) simulation in a city center.

If you want to learn more about our drone simulation, check out this page. We’ll also make a longer post here in the following weeks to give you a more detailed view of our work on this simulation. By the way if you have questions or comments, feel free to ask 😉