Real-time Simulations using QuaRC and RT-LAB and Development of a Hardware-in-the-Loop Indoor Facility for Robot Formations


  1. Morris, A.
  2. Gosselin, P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);Numerica Technologies Inc, Quebec City (QUE)
This report will present two commercial software environments used to distribute and execute real-time simulations: QuaRC and RT-Lab. Both QuaRC and RT-Lab allow the user to develop simulation models using Matlab/Simulink and include hardware, such as data acquisition boards, to connect to real vehicles and systems. In addition, QuaRC can be used to program embedded systems such as wheeled mobile robots and aerial vehicles. This report will present formation flight models that have been modified in order to be compliant to QuaRC or RT-Lab. The simulations are composed of six to ten unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, following a commanded trajectory while maintaining a prescribed trajectory. Models presented also include abrupt fault detection and formation shape morphing on operator’s request. Vehicle models and dynamics are based on almost lighter-than-air (ALTAV) vehicles, unicycles and quadrotor vehicles. Low-level controllers used to stabilize these UAVs are feedback linearization controllers. Formation controller is of leader-to-follower type. Simulation results are displayed in real-time on a three-dimensional viewer (X-Plane). The feedback linearization controller has been implemented on an embedded computer on board a wheeled mobile robot (QBot). An infrared camera system (OptiTrack camera setup) is used to measure the QBot’s position and orientation. This information is then sent from the base station to the wheeled mobile robot’s embedded computer using a wire

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Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-CR-2009-499 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Sep 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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