Deditec has developed a control system for the VR Seat Buck on behalf of Prove Realities (both Germany). In a Q&A which was released as a press release, Dipl. Ing. Juergen Siebert, Managing Director of Deditec, explained how the latest customer project was implemented.
Q: Mr. Siebert, you don’t just develop the control system for a VR Seat Buck on the side. Didn’t that take a lot of time?
A: No, of course something like this can’t be done overnight. But fortunately, we already have many highly-developed series products that can be adapted for all conceivable applications. For Prove Realities, we were able to fall back on digital I/O modules from our NET series. The goal was to control and position several electromechanical lifting columns and CAN-controlled linear drives using a Windows-supported user interface.
Q: Can you elaborate on that?
A: By reading in specific setup data, different vehicle models can now be physically represented by the Seat Buck.
Q: What does that mean?
A: The setup data is used, for example, to adjust the height and width of the Seat Buck, the seat position including vehicle seat positions, the settings of the steering wheel column or the height and width of the armrests.
Q: That sounds like a complex challenge.
A: It was. In order to be able to optimally unite all components of the system, we developed our own circuit boards with the corresponding connection technology and interconnected them. The control system and power supply were then installed in two separate 19-inch frames. And that brings me back to your first question: In particular, the completely new development of special PCBs and assembly boards, which ensure the uncomplicated and safe dismantling of the system, was only possible on time thanks to the great teamwork of the well-coordinated Deditec team. At times, up to four employees worked on the system. Here, everything went hand in hand – and despite the strict coronavirus-related hygiene measures – which do not exactly make the work easier – smoothly. A big compliment to everyone. Because this enabled us to hand over the project to Prove Realities on time in the end.
Q: What else was part of their responsibilities as part of the Seat Buck project?
A: Deditec also took care of all the wiring work on site and implemented the production of all the necessary cable harnesses. You could say: We gave the Seat Buck its blood vessels and nerve tracts (laughs).
The VR Seat Buck is an electromechanical unit that moves to the desired vehicle position via tablet input. This enables the simulation of types of interiors, from sports cars to vans. The steering wheel, seat, armrests, and pedals move automatically to predefined or configurable positions. In addition, the movement of the steering wheel is transferred to the VR scene, as are all positions of the other components.
The vehicle position is controlled by a module of the NET series. In addition, Deditec took over the development of a printed circuit board tailored to the order with the corresponding connection technology. The installation of the control system and the power supply was then carried out in two separate 19-inch frames. The entire cabling on site and the production of all necessary cable harnesses was also carried out by Deditec.
As a basic module of the NET series the variants NET-CPU-Base and NET-CPU-PRO-CS are available. With both versions all analog and digital NET-DEV modules can be operated. This variants, come with an up to 500-V galvanically-isolated CAN interface. Connection via 9-pin D-Sub socket.
Configuration of CAN modules
Depending on the product series, the company’s CAN modules can be configured either by software or DIP switches. Depending on the mode used, the modules are controlled via the CAN protocol or via the automatic receive mode (Auto-RX) or automatic transmit mode (Auto-TX). The Auto-TX mode allows cyclic transmission of data packets, optionally with analog or digital input states to other CAN addresses. Alternatively, a trigger event can be defined. Here a data packet is only transmitted if a data packet on a certain CAN ID has been received before (e.g. CAN sync to ID 0x80). With the Auto-RX mode, however, received data packets are forwarded directly to analog or digital outputs. For example, relay outputs can be set via another CAN participant.
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