By means of virtual prototype technolgy, the virtual enviroment of the lunar rover is established on graphics workstation. The model of virtual lunar rover based on rocker and redirector is derived for full six degree of freedom motions enabling movements in three directions, as well as pith, roll and yaw rotations. In order to make the operator see and believe the virtual enviroment of the scene while controlling the rover, a self-calibration system is developed by the method of transforming 3-D CAD models into 2-D graphics and superimposing the model built on the computer onto the image taken by the CCD camera, which can calibrate the figure of virtual enviroment. For the purpose of dispelling the time delay impact on the stability of the teleoperation system during lunar missions, a two-level control frame of teleoperation based on virtual reality preview, which can lay communication time delay out of the control loops, is applied to the simulation system. A man-machine interface based on six degree Space ball is developed so as to control the virtual lunar rover efficiently. The effectiveness and the feasibility of the model are verified by the climb simulation experiments of the virtual lunar rover.
The approach of the computional simulation in the virtual prototyping is applied to design the system of home robot. By means of three-dimensional (3-D) real scene modeling, the virtual enviroment of family rooms and 3-D entity models of virtual home robot are established on Silicon graphics workstation. The kinematics model of home robot is derived for degree of freedom motions. The scenes of the virtual enviroment are changing with the movements of the observer’s viewpoint. So the 3-D scenes can simulate the images taken by the camera as the viewpoint of the channel is set on the camera of virtual home robot. The data of the odometer is simulated by the parameters that label the numbers of wheels’ rotations. In order to verify feasibility of the virtual home robot system, the simulation experiment is presented as the virtual home robot roaming in the virtual environment of family rooms. The geometric model of each part of home robot is articulated as a node tree to be put into the virtual enviroment. The results of the experiments show that the technology of virtual prototype can lead good synergy between the fields of virtual reality and Robotics.