Successful Completion Virtual Slave Project

On November 16th 2010, the ITER-NL1 WP3 project Virtual Slave had a successful “Final Review”. In the Virtual Slave project, a consortium of Dutch Space, Heemskerk Innovative Technology and TreeC developed a new simulation tool. The new tool allows users to simulate the dynamics and physical interaction in a virtual environment created with CAD programmes.

  • Delft, The Netherlands, December 16th, 2010

The name of the project – Virtual Slave – describes the key application of this simulation tool within the context of ITER Remote Handling maintenance: The simulator lets the user not only see the simulated slave robot through a VR4Robots®1 display, but also to feel its interaction with the world through force feedback on a master-device.

The Virtual Slave simulator has a wide range of applications; it is useful during the design process, the validation of maintenance plans, the training of operators and the operational support during maintenance activities.

The Virtual Slave project included market research, design of a new simulator architecture and the development and testing of a prototype. During the “Final Review” the test results were discussed and the Virtual Slave prototype was demonstrated. All present had the possibility to be a Remote Handling operator for a moment and could control the virtual slave.

The Virtual Slave prototype test results are promising. Due to the limited possibilities of force feedback in the master device it was not possible to test the full functionality of the Virtual Slave. Therefore, a recommendation for further development is to use a more representative full-scale master.

At the completion of this project it can be concluded that during this project great progress was made and the goals set to this project were reached.

The Virtual Slave simulator prototype into action; simulation of an ITER maintenance-scenario. The screen on the left side shows the visual simulation, the screen on the right side shows the sequence. At the front right the master device which connects the operator with the simulated environment.

VR4Robots® is an RH application from Tree C Technology B.V.