Extreme hardware control...sigh...

This is a discussion on Extreme hardware control...sigh... within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I'm working on building a controler for a pneumatic system that must regeister when to trigger up to four pneumatic ...

  1. #1
    Caffienated jinx's Avatar
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    Exclamation Extreme hardware control...sigh...

    I'm working on building a controler for a pneumatic system that must regeister when to trigger up to four pneumatic cylinders at once under a platform and must read from a 3ds max (or equivalent) file that tracks valleys, mountains, and planes and creates similiar movement on the platform...i.e. if you stand on the plane and advance the file on the computer, the platform moves like it was "sliding" along the surface of the virtual file. Sigh....I've got eleven months to get this done. Where should I start? Mechanical engineers help!?
    Weeel, itss aboot tieme wee goo back too Canada, eeehy boyss.

  2. #2
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    You can get a PCI card with either relays or relay drivers on it. The relays (and a saparate power supply) drive the pneumatic solenoid valves that control the cylinders.

    You should try to find a card that comes with a driver and a C/C++ library. That way, your I/O programming shoud be trivial.

    I'd start with the people that sell the cylinders and solonoids. All of their customers need controls, and I'm sure that all these "mechanical types" aren't designing their own electronics from scratch.

    Check out Measurement Computing. They have lots of special-purpose I/O cards. Or, do a search for "industrial control".

    If hardware cost is an issue, the cheapest way would be to use the parallel port and your own custom-built solenoid-control circuitry.
    Last edited by DougDbug; 04-28-2004 at 12:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Caffienated jinx's Avatar
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    Cool. Now I just gotta figure out the coord sys for the "virtual map" and the input to the controller. This is going to be an exiting year. I'm coworking on a new model of the "virtual cave." Don't wanna let on too much though, a lot of smart ppl here...sigh.
    Weeel, itss aboot tieme wee goo back too Canada, eeehy boyss.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    That doesn't sound hard at all. You will know the height values of the four corners and if you take those...scale them (probably down) and then send these values to a processor that would in turn raise and lower the cylinders then you could simulate one virtual quad. If you wanted a smoother sampling so that the platform doesn't move so much...take the 4 surrounding quads and add together, divide by 4 or take the 8 surrounding quads, add, divide by 8 or do a linear or bilinear interpolation between them.

    Sounds like fun. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm... I'm not really following what Bubba is saying, but I assume that you know that air cylinders are rather crude for motion control. You can't precisely their speed or distance. So, I'm assuming this OK for your application. If the load is constant, you can "fake-it" by controlling the pressure, air-flow rate, and time. But if you wanted real servo control, you'd need position-feedback, and your hardware becomes much more complicated.

  6. #6
    Caffienated jinx's Avatar
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    Yeah. The pressure is neglagible at this point. I need to let on a little more. I'm am faced with developing an entire new file structure for videos....sigh. The VR cave will interactively display a total 3D video (scenes shot in a grid and patched together(kinda like an apple image from CubicConverter except video'd)); The new file needs to orient itself to the ground in the video and output to the I/O controllers. Can OpenGL or DirectX handle this? Built-in functions?
    Weeel, itss aboot tieme wee goo back too Canada, eeehy boyss.

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