Workshop #4

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This workshop has been cancelled due to low enrolment

HOTINT: Open Source Software for the Simulation of Mechatronic Systems

Organizers: Alexander Humer, Daniel Reischl

Abstract: HOTINT is a multi-purpose simulation software for both research and industrial applications with a focus on the mechanical modeling and analysis of multibody systems. Its core features aim at an equally detailed and efficient representation of complex systems comprising both rigid and flexible components. In recent years, the functionality has been extended beyond a purely mechanical perspective. Today, HOTINT allows the modeling and simulation of mechatronic systems which typically contain various kinds of not necessarily mechanical components, in particular, sensors actuators and the control system connecting the former. In addition to static, dynamic and modal analysis of multibody systems, HOTINT offers automated parameter identification and optimization algorithms.
This workshop intends to provide a brief overview of the scope of problems that can be modeled using HOTINT. In a hands-on tutorial, the interested user is guided through the core features, starting from the setup of parameterized, hierarchical models by means of a simple, yet powerful, script language, to the intuitive manipulation in the graphical user interface, to the analysis of mechatronic multibody systems. Special emphasis is laid on aspects related to the realization of control systems either directly in HOTINT or via coupling to third-party software, e.g., MATLAB/Simulink.

Workshop goals: Primary goal of the workshop is to provide an overview on the potential problems and applications that can be simulated in HOTINT. By attending the workshop, the participants are introduced to the workflow of modeling and simulating multibody systems using both the graphical user interface and the modeling language included in HOTINT. In particular, the features for representing the components of control systems, i.e., sensors, actuators and the control algorithms, are shown in a hands-on tutorial which enables the participants to efficiently implement their own simulation models of mechatronic systems.

Synopsis of workshop content and major topics: The workshop starts with a short introduction to the basic concept of the redundant coordinate formulation of multibody system dynamics. A short outline on the available objects, starting from rigid bodies, to flexible structural elements as beams and shells, to the connector elements that represent a core feature of multibody systems. The full potential of HOTINT is briefly introduced by means of some representative examples of both research and industrial applications. The main interactive part is dedicated to introducing the participants to the graphical user interface and the modeling language which allows to set up parameterized simulation models. By means of simple examples, e.g., an inverted pendulum on a cart, the implementation of sensor and actuator elements is shown and simple control strategies are realized directly in HOTINT using the available IO-elements. For more complicated control systems, HOTINT offers a TCP/IP interface to third-party software which allows the coupling, e.g., with MATLAB/Simulink, or even the realization of hardware-in-the-loop simulation. Additional examples show the features of parameter identification based on evolutionary algorithms that can be used for determining typically uncertain parameters such as damping coefficients from experimental data.

Intended audience: The workshop addresses researchers in the fields of mechanics and model-based control who are interested in detailed and accurate simulation models that serve as basis for the development of control systems.

Workshop length and schedule: The workshop takes half a day with approximately one hour being spent on the fundamentals of HOTINT and selected examples that show some of its advanced features, e.g., fluid-structure interaction, non-linear structural mechanics, and model-order reduction. The remaining time will be available for the participants to get in touch with the software, to set up exemplary models and to perform simulations on their own computer.

Prerequesites: No specific knowledge of (computational) mechanics or control theory is required for attending the workshop. For the participants to actively take part in the hands-on tutorials, a laptop running Microsoft Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit) or later is required. An installer of HOTINT along with examplary simulation models will be provided ahead of the workshop; support for the installation will be given on site. A MAT- LAB/Simulation installation and license is required for the examples showing the coupling with HOTINT.