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  I worked alone on this project on my second year of studies, the aim was to create a Graphical User Interface in Matlab and integrate the Virtual Reality simulation of a 2DOF mechanism. It was my first time using Matlab for this kind of task. I faced several problems, how to import a Solidwork model of the mechanism, how to exchange data between the GUI and simulink model, how to visualize the VR in the GUI.
    I wrote faster the program than i planed, so i decided to build also the physical mechanism. I have  chosen stepper motors for actuators, because it had 0.39° angular displacement by using gear reduction and half step control. The motors are not so powerful, so the links are made of aluminium. I sent on the parallel port the control signal, which is an 8 bit number. I made a simple electric circuit for safely control by using photocouplers.

I wrote a publication, it has more information about the project.

Design and real-time control of 2DOF mechanism in
 Virtual Reality with Matlab Graphical User Interface
Előd Páll

Description: Designing a control system is easier for simulated model rather than for the real system. The simulation can be implemented and visualized in the control software of an automated system. Hence, it makes easier to test and observe the behavior of the system. The simulation  can be realistic if all the physical aspects are set.  This is the reason to create a User Interface which controls a five bar mechanism and to simulate  in real time the behavior of the mechanism. The chosen program is  Matlab which has the features for this task.
Keywords: graphical interface, Matlab GUIDE, five-bar, virtual reality, simulation, real-time control.
Full document.


The circuit for parallel connection:
  • parallel port
  • resistances
  • photo couplers
  • transistors
  • LEDs

The five-bar mechanism:
  • aluminium bars
  • two stepper motors
    • angular displacement 3,91º gear reduction 12/60
      half step & reduction 0.391º

Graphical User Interface:

Matlab GUI communicates on parallel port with the mechanism.
  • Direct & Inverse control
  • Simulation
  • Virtual Reality

Előd Páll,
Sep 20, 2011, 7:21 AM