The Nineteenth IASTED International Conference on
Applied Simulation and Modelling
ASM 2011

June 22 – 24, 2011
Crete, Greece


Virtual Testbeds: Multidisciplinary 3-D Simulation of High-Tech Systems

Dr. Roland Wischnewski


In recent years, modeling and simulation methods have been developed to analyze almost all kinds of complex systems. Many of these methods have not left the stage of a scientific idea, some have been implemented but are hardly used, and some more are well established in the daily work of people around the world. A major aspect concerning benefit, acceptance, and success of the initial ideas is the degree of how much the resulting methods support the human perception. In general, anyone would agree that a graph is more suited to easily grasp information than a column of numbers. This leads to the next step in simulation technology - the Virtual Testbed. This is an interdisciplinary simulation approach that integrates simulation solutions for different aspects of a particular system and uses high-quality 3-D visualization to enable people to truly gain insight into the functioning of the represented system at several levels. Interdisciplinary teams can inspect systems in Virtual Testbeds and have a common basis for their discussions. For this, it is important that the Virtual Testbed really reflects the system's physical behaviour instead of only showing "nice pictures" like most modern computer games do.
The new approach imposes high demands on the methods used for simulation, visualization, man-machine interaction, and interface handling. Simulation considers kinematics, dynamics, sensors, actors, and environmental impacts in soft real-time. Visualization uses a powerful renderer and supports 3-D for devices ranging from a simple 3-D monitor to a multi-screen walk-in projection environment for twenty people. As experiments with the represented system shall be as realistic as possible, powerful interaction mechanisms are available during simulation. Interfaces support the coupling of external hardware components to function together with modeled components (hardware-in-the-loop).
Virtual Testbeds are the key technology for the successful development and use of high-tech systems. Planning, testing, operator training, and presentation can be done without allocating the real system. Typical fields of use are space applications, planet surface exploration, city models, forest inventory, automated manufacturing plants, robotics, and operator training for heavy machines like wheel loaders.

Biography of the Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Portrait

Roland Wischnewski studied applied computer science with focus on engineering technology at the University of Dortmund in Germany. From 1999 to 2005 he worked as a scientific assistant at the Institute of Robotics Research (IRF) of the University of Dortmund. Since April 2005 he works at the Department of Robot Technology at RIF in Dortmund as head of the team Industrial Simulation Systems. In 2007, he received his doctor's degree in electrical engineering from the RWTH Aachen University and was awarded the Borchers Badge for his dissertation. He has published 19 simulation related scientific papers and appeared as reviewer and session chair at several conferences. In 2010, he received the best paper award from the Industrial Simulation Conference.
During the last 15 years, he has gained experience in the field of simulation, especially concerning automated manufacturing plants. He gave more than 50 presentations and training courses for simulation customers from industry. He presented simulation systems at the world's leading industry fair Hannover Messe in Germany six times. He was invited to multiple talks, amongst others by the federal state government's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in 2009. His current work focusses on the improvement of simulation systems for use in industry.