Skip to main content

Research Training@VDTC

Final Activity Report Summary - VDTC (Research training@VDTC)

Supported by the EU as part of its Marie Curie Action, a four years training program for young researchers was started at the Fraunhofer IFF Virtual Development and Training Centre VDTC in December 2005.

The project -called 'ResearchTraining@VDTC'- gave 11 young researchers from 6 countries an opportunity at the Fraunhofer IFF to collaborate on international research projects or gather practical experience in industry projects. Stays of up to three years have being offered. The thematic focus encompasses applied virtual engineering. Along with attending courses and collaborating on projects, trainees also performed research in the Fraunhofer IFF's Logistics lab and in Virtual Reality labs. Three interdisciplinary areas of applied research have been available to the research fellows: Virtual Product Development, Virtual Process Engineering and Virtual-interactive Training. These three research areas cover a wide spectrum of virtual reality applications including applied IT-technologies on one side and human-machine interfaces and education and training systems on the other side. This can be illustrated by the PhD research results of Tamás Juhász on 'Advanced Solutions in Object-oriented Mechatronic Simulation': Computer-aided product design and -development allow recognising and evaluating the characteristics of a system on the basis of virtual, simulated models at an early stage before having to build a physical prototype.

A functional model has to be built for analysing the behaviour of the system using dynamic simulation, furthermore parallel in multiple domains. As the complexity of the construction can be very big and the CAD systems cannot create such multi-domain models, for a smoother workflow the automated generation of dynamic simulation models is needed. Juhash developed a novel translation process from a pro/engineer mechanical construction to final mechatronic Modelica models. It is carried out by his integrated mechatronic model authoring and visualisation application, RobotMax. He has shown that during the process the topology and the kinematic loops of the construction are handled in a uniform way by using a special intermediate graph structure, which is representing the CAD construction and is also used later in the workflow for visualising the results of the simulation with high performance. Juhasz introduces a complex application field of mechatronic simulation: the use of virtual reality scenarios for virtual teleoperation trainings. It focuses on measuring the psychophysical strength of the motion-parallax effect among the depth clues of such dynamic 3D scenes in a new, quantitative way: such depth information is highly demanded for immersive navigation in the virtual reality.

Further scientific achievements of the researchers are:

virtual product development
- optimisation of riveting processes for reconfigurable assembly
- optimisation of frames geometry under unstable thermal loading
- modules for integration of 3D-sound in virtual factory

virtual process engineering
- analysis and testing toolsets for using RFID in digital factory
- simulation techniques for moving bed reactors integrating mechanical and process-simulation
- methods for data acquisition used by forecasting algorithms for reliability of technical systems

Virtual interactive training
- interaction and visualisation methods for VR based training in embedded infrastructures
- integration of VR based training modules for technical personal in ICT-processes
- enhanced modelling technologies for human organs used by surgery simulation.

The Training was supplemented by soft skills modules, language courses and conference attendance. The training program was organised in cooperation with Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg and regional industry partners. Countable results are one successfully finished PhD Thesis, 36 scientific publications and 78 participations at international conferences and events.