Ride the Most Extreme Simulator Ever Aboard the High-Speed CableRobot

September 28, 2016

cable[Image Source: Fraunhofer]

Simulations have made impeccable progress in the last few years, and CableRobot is sure to be the most extreme.

Cable robots are continuously used in industries to life heavy payloads two magnitudes greater than their conventional robot counterparts. Manipulated by multiple cables, the robots are highly traversable. Now, researchers lead by Professor Heinrich Bülthoff from MPI for Biological Cybernetics, integrated the technology into a cable-driven simulator.

The simulator, formally dubbed the CableRobot, is supported and controlled by eight steel cables which are further manipulated by powerful winches. With a total drive power of 348 kW, the CableRobot can accelerate the cabin at 1.5 times gravitational acceleration within its 5 x 8 x 5 m³ constraints.

The ride is controlled through an algorithm which safely manipulates the carbon fiber constructed carbon which has been precisely engineered to withstand the large dynamic loads. The cockpit, which is constructed entirely of carbon fiber tubes, spans across 2.60 meters with a large volume to accommodate for passengers and instrumentation. At just 80 kg, the carbon is capable of withstanding 1.5 tonnes of force which the cables exert on the outer structure.

Currently, the CableRobot is being designed to be used as a simulator for VR applications, however, researchers are also interested in investigating how humans process perception.

“This simulator offers us entirely new possibilities for studying motion perception with possible applications in neurological research into balance disorders,”

Says Professor Bülthoff, who has researched perception devices for much of his career.

The large volume creates a large surface area in which a projection can be made of driving/flight simulations as well as recording information to research how humans interact with the system. Moreover, the simulator looks incredibly fun.


“With the cable-driven simulator, the scientists from both Institutes have once again demonstrated how the combination of basic research and industry-oriented technology development can lead to innovative products,”

Concludes Professor Thomas Bauernhansl, Institute Director at Fraunhofer IPA.

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