Advancing Robotics Simulation by AMC Bridge: Hirata Robot Simulator Case Study

Industrial robotics simulation is one of the most effective solutions to eliminate costly design mistakes that can often be discovered only in the late stages of the production workflow.

One of the leading vendors of the complex robotic systems challenged its software development group to enhance the company’s equipment with advanced software applications and AMC Bridge joined the group to develop a desktop application of a prototype simulator that enables robot teaching and simulates operations of robot systems for Hirata, an international production engineering company based in Japan.

  • PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
    • Seamlessly integrated simulation system tailored to Hirata robotics
    • Expanded modeling capabilities that enable single position and multipoint robot teaching
    • 3D visualization performed with Hoops Visualize that can be recorded to multiple formats (3D PDF, WMV, MPEG4)
    • Simultaneous simulation of up to 4 robots
    • Collision detection during robot simulations
    • Path planning
    • Built-in change tracking engine
  • WHY AMC BRIDGE?
    • Extensive expertise in developing a broad spectrum of engineering applications
    • Demonstrated competence in working with the HOOPS technology
    • Proven track record of successful project deliveries
    • Seasoned professional team
    • Satisfied clients around the globe
  • CUSTOMER BENEFITS
    • Competitive advantage of having 3D visualization and simulation of robot operations at the early design stage
    • Mitigated production risks and the boosted reliability of the manufactured equipment
    • Extended sales package that may now include simulation software for the manufactured robotics equipment


Client

Hirata is a global production engineering company that specializes in manufacturing production systems and machinery for a variety of industries, from automotive to medical and beyond.

On a mission to guarantee complete control over the quality and cost, Hirata set out to improve its simulation processes to reduce reliance on expensive physical prototypes and minimize late-stage design failures.

Challenges

With the new project, Hirata aimed to overcome the limitations of its existing robot controller system to suit the advanced production needs.

The brand-new system was to expand the simulation capabilities and enable multi-robot testing, modeling of peripheral systems, and process visualization, among other requirements. Targeted at Hirata Prototype Robots, it was to be fully integrated with Hirata software components and use the HOOPS suite for 3D visualization.

Looking for a vendor with a track record of top-notch performance, extensive expertise in the technology stack, and a highly professional team, Hirata entrusted AMC Bridge with developing a desktop application of a prototype simulator from scratch.

Solution

To address customer needs, AMC Bridge developed Hirata Robot Simulator, a brand-new technology solution that allows prototyping robotic systems.

The functionalities of Hirata Robot Simulator enable:

  • 3D visualization and modeling of robots, peripheral systems, and work environment
  • Single position and multipoint robot teaching

  • Robot path planning

  • Simulation of robot motion and interaction with other robots and scene elements

  • Importing geometry from any format supported by HOOPS

  • Collision detection

  • Change tracking with the change history engine built into the design architecture

  • Adjustment of the rendered models

  • Setting up the simulation environment

  • Recording the simulation to the 3D PDF, WMV, and MPEG formats

A user-friendly UI gives users an intuitive grasp of the application capabilities and renders it perfectly optimized for a quick start, which significantly minimizes the investments in training.

Process

The AMC Bridge team was charged to develop a top-level simulation application, create its UI/UX design, and resolve numerous integration risks that could arise when combining various software parts and third-party libraries.

The overall development process required intensive collaboration, communication, and implementation.

To ensure that the project was always on the right track, the team delivered weekly status reports and held meetings with product demonstrations every two weeks.

At the initial stage, the team conducted exhaustive research of the domain field to offer the best development decisions for the project implementation and created a functional specification based on the requirements provided by the customer.

Following the successful proof-of-concept delivery, the team concentrated on enhancing model operation and user experience, including the development of a change tracking engine that exceeded the initial requirements.

Results

The resulting application helped to reduce the production cost by empowering Hirata to uncover and eliminate errors at the design stage and offered a sales advantage by providing a virtual demonstration of the product before it is manufactured.

Seamlessly integrated with the native Hirata software, Hirata Robot Simulator was adopted in no time, starting to add value to Hirata operations from day one.

An additional benefit that Hirata realized from the developed application was the possibility of using it as a stand-alone simulation software for a variety of Hirata products.

Commenting on the excellent cooperation with AMC Bridge, Mr. Hironobu Yoshizawa, Manager of the Robotics Business Department, remarked: ‘Your engineering software development skills should be used more in Japan.’

May 19, 2020
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