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Limits of motion simulation

Rob van de Pijpekamp of TMC's High Tech Systems is seconded as a mechatronics consultant at TNO, SKF and Desdemona Ltd. He enables simulator studies with motion control and force feedback. His tasks are devising concept development for force feedback systems, the implementation and controlling of algorithm tuning for mechatronic systems and coming up with dedicated HMI solutions for specific experiments.

He says: “The multi-purpose Desdemona simulator definitely pushes the limits of motion simulation. Desdemona is a flight - and drive simulator, a disorientation trainer and an advanced research lab, all in one. This simulator – unique in the world - can be used for research and for training in complex situations that may occur during (military) flight, driving or even sailing. For realistic force feedback on controls as used by the test person, various adaptations to the occupant’s cabin are necessary for specific experiments.”

“Force feedback on flight or driving controls is implemented and needs to be modifiable for research purposes. For fundamental research, test persons can give feedback by answering certain research questions via dedicated HMI-controls like knobs and joysticks. The design and implementation of these controls usually have not been invented yet, and therefore need bespoke hardware and software. The confined space, the experimental set-up and the people interacting with these systems (and taking medical and ethical aspects into account), make working for Desdemona a bit challenging at times”, Rob says, "we really strike the limits of motion simulation".

Before joining TMC, Rob worked at TNO, often spending his time at Desdemona’s. “Desdemona is a TNO facility in conjunction with AMST (the manufacturer of Desdemona), but is nowadays exploited by a small independent private company, Desdemona Ltd. Now that I work for TMC, Desdemona Ltd. is still keen on using my expertise whenever they need it. My expertise on motion control, mechatronics and experience in experiments with humans in the loop, is very valuable to them. They appreciate my creative, out-of-the-box thinking, which usually solves problems efficiently and satisfactory. On top of that, TMC offers continuity when I am not available.”

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