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Document Type: Tutorial NI Supported: Yes Publish Date: Jun 8, 2011

Teach Vehicle Steering and Simulation with LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit (DaNI)
Overview The basis of steering is to direct the vehicle in the desired directions. The steering mechanism is usually composed of a series of linkages, pivots, and gears. In this tutorial, two types of steering will be discussed: differential steer and ackermann steer. By using LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit (DaNI), students in the Vehicle Dynamics course can understand the concepts of each mechanism better through both software simulation and hardware implementation.

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Table of Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Differential Steer Implementing Differential Drive Vehicle Dynamics in LabVIEW Vehicle Simulation with 3D Animation Ackermann Steer Video Demonstration Conclusion Related Links Reference

Differential Steer A typical differentially steered vehicle is driven by two(or more) separate wheels placed on either side of the body. Depending on the speed of rotation of each wheel and its direction, the vehicle will maneuver in various directions with the center of rotation anywhere in the line joining the two wheels. Let's consider a simple 2D turning vehicle with kinematic states q = [X Y ] shown in Figure 1

Fig 1. Single Axis Differential Drive Let's assume that there is no slip and each wheel has controllable speeds, 1 and 2. The vehicle velocity at CG and the yaw rate in the body frame can be expressed as

By applying a transformation matrix to transform the body-fixed reference frame velocities into a global frame, the velocities in the global reference frame are,

Implementing Differential Drive Vehicle Dynamics in LabVIEW The kinematic model of a differentially-steered vehicle is implemented using LabVIEW MathScript Module. As shown in Figure 2, the state velocities derived from the kinematic equations above are integrated using LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module to obtain each state value. The simulation is setup to run a fixed-step solver (RK1) with the step size of 0.1 second. The outputs from simulation are sent to a separate loop for running the animation.

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[+] Enlarge Image Fig 2. Block Diagram Kinematic Model of Differential Drive Vehicle Simulation with 3D Animation LabVIEW 3D Picture Control allows users to create, import, and control 3D graphics from various CAD software such as SoilidWorks, 3D Studio, Google SketchUp, etc. Users can import VRML, STL, and ASE 3D file formats into LabVIEW. More in depth discussion can be found in the related links section below. In this case, a VRML file was created from the SolidWorks model of DaNI. As shown in Figure 3, the 3D animation was loaded and the user can control the camera position to follow the vehicle if desired.

[+] Enlarge Image Fig. 3. Block Diagram Constructing 3D Visualization The user can vary the throttle command to speed up or slow down the vehicle and change the steering velocity to direct the travel trajectory. As shown in Figure 4, the front panel provides two different projections.

[+] Enlarge Image Fig 4. Differential Steer Simulation Ackermann Steer Ackermann steering is a geometry designed to solve the vehicle turning problem. The required steering angles to turn at different circles of radii can be found given vehicle parameters. As shown in Figure 5, the vehicle is said to have a steer angle, , and linear velocities of each wheel, v 1 and v2.

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Fig 5. Ackermann Steer Assuming the wheels do not slip, the kinematic model in the inertial frame is then given by

Following the same architecture as differential drive simulation, the above equations are implemented in LabVIEW MathScript RT Module as shown in Figure 6. The front panel of the simulation is shown in Figure 7

[+] Enlarge Image Fig 6. Block Diagram Kinematic Model of Ackermann Steer

[+] Enlarge Image Fig 7. Ackermann Steer Simulation Video Demonstration

Conclusion This article briefly introduces the concepts of vehicle turning through differential and ackermann steer. The parameters of the vehicle is based on LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit (DaNI) and the kinematic equations are implemented using LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module and LabVIEW MathScript RT Module. You can download an evaluation copy of the modules here LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module LabVIEW MathScript RT Module NI LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit

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Please contact andy.chang@ni.com to request more information about this article. Related Links Create Advanced User Interfaces with OpenGL Based 3D Visualization Import 3D Models from Google SketchUp into LabVIEW Reference ME 390: Vehicle Dynamics and Controls (Spring 2011) Prof. Raul. G. Longoria, ME, University of Texas, Austin http://www.me.utexas.edu/~longoria/VSDC/handouts/Vehicle_Turning_and_Simulation.pdf

Legal This tutorial (this "tutorial") was developed by National Instruments ("NI"). Although technical support of this tutorial may be made available by National Instruments, the content in this tutorial may not be completely tested and verified, and NI does not guarantee its quality in any way or that NI will continue to support this content with each new revision of related products and drivers. THIS TUTORIAL IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND AND SUBJECT TO CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS AS MORE SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH IN NI.COM'S TERMS OF USE ( http://ni.com/legal/termsofuse/unitedstates/us/).

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