The Oztech Modular Design Environment (MODE)

The Oztech Modular Design Environment is a flexible simulation and testing environment that can be utilized for different autonomous, semi-autonomous, or collaborative vehicles in different application domains and different operational scenarios.

Oztech engineers work with customers to adjust the environment to the needs of their application, which can be a pure simulation or hardware-in-the-loop testing, with different sensors. We develop new vehicle dynamic models, control algorithms, and application scenarios.


 

Details

To facilitate the testing of autonomous vehicle algorithms, the Oztech Modular Design Environment (MODE) was developed to represent a realistic model of the vehicle and its dynamics, the physical environment, and the sensor suite. The architecture of the simulation environment is shown in Figure 1. This simulator was built on top of the Gazebo simulator and the ROS framework. The Oztech MODE simulator also provides an appropriate control interface to control the simulated vehicle and to communicate with external scripts so as to alter the simulation.


Figure 1. The architecture of the Oztech MODE simulator

MATLAB and Simulink Integration

Oztech MODE provides an integration interface with MATLAB and Simulink through the ROS framework as shown in Figure 2. This allows ROS nodes and control modules to be developed in MATLAB or Simulink and used to manipulate the simulation environment or to directly generate simulated models for use. MODE also facilitates hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) setups, SUMO traffic co-simulation, and provides several tools to facilitate development such as an operation monitor, GUI-based waypoint path generation, and A* path planning.


Figure 2. Integration of Oztech MODE with MATLAB and Simulink. Shown also are extended simulation resources and external sources & information that can be used to expand the capabilities of Oztech MODE

Vehicles, Operational Areas and Scenarios


Vehicles:


The basic Gazebo software provides the models of a set of ground vehicles. Oztech Inc. has developed the kinematic and dynamic model of a number of other vehicles (articulated trucks, multi-axle carriers, and different steering mechanisms) and these can be adjusted to fit the customers needs. Given the dimensional details, we supply a visual representation of your specialty vehicle to operate in the simulated “world” of your choice.


Figure 3. Example model vehicle

Operational Areas (“Worlds”)


MODE can be utilized to do simulated operations in the “world” of your choice. We can provide a test area according to your description, a map you give us or based on a data file you transmit (say a lidar point cloud you have generated of your test area.) Since the rendering detail can affect the simulation speed, we will discuss your choices.


Figure 4. A mining layout where the extract is carried from one location to another

Scenarios


Scenarios are defined in terms of Finite State Machines (FSM’s). We have FSM’s that can fit typical repetitive operations (load-travel-unload-repeat) over typical “worlds”. These can be mining operations with trucks or parking lot shuttle operations transferring passengers.


Figure 5. An FSM for a typical load-unload operation

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