Designing new commercial motorcycles through a highly reconfigurable virtual reality-based simulator
In order to make a simulation more realistic, motion base simulators provide users with inertial cues, exerting linear accelerations and angular rates on the mock-up vehicle, in addition to the more common visual, audio and instrumentation feedbacks. A common choice for the design of such simulators is the use of a Stewart platform parallel manipulator. With respect to fixed base simulators, motion base ones can complete the driving experience felt by the user during a simulation. The present article presents the MORIS simulator, a motorcycle simulator intended to be a tool in the hands of motorbike designers. The system allowes designers to test new prototypes before actually building them, thus cutting down costs of the design phases. The key idea is that it should be easier and cheaper to mathematically model a new prototype and test its maneuverability in different driving conditions than to actually build it. In order to meet the strict specifications required by such a type of tool, the performances of the overall system must be very high. In the following the architecture of the simulator is presented and discussed. This includes the mechanical system, the kinematics and dynamic relations that regulate motion, the actuation system, the control system, the motorcycle dynamic model, and the motion controller unit.
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