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Developing 3D Simulation For Robots and Ships
A company specializing in Digital Transformation (DX)
Simulation Development

Summary

Our client, a company specializing in digital transformation, was introducing an automatic cleaning robot for ships to cut manual operations. The client created the first model of the cleaning robot but required further technical expertise to test the robot’s behavior in the ship’s environment – a must-do before deploying the robot inside the transportation ship.

With ROS (Robot Operating System) and Gazebo, Tokyo Techies created a virtual 3D simulation environment of the ship’s model and the robot’s model and implemented its kinematics to see how the robot behaves in the ship’s environment before deployment.

The Case


A ship's inspection and cleaning process was typically done manually, requiring extensive manpower. Our client sought to reduce manual operations by  improving their automation efforts, starting with introducing an automatic cleaning robot. The client created the initial model of the cleaning robot but experienced technical challenges  when it came to simulating how the robot operates in the real-life environment of a ship.

Before physically deploying the robot inside the ship, a simulation of how the robot behaves in the environment needed to be done. This simulation helped us check and understand the robot’s behavior in the environment of the ship, ensuring that the robot would function correctly in the real environment.

The Results

Creating a simulation environment is not as straightforward as it appears. Emulating a physical object like a robot or ship in software requires specific and accurate physical quantities – think of the object’s weight, inertia, and even the movement of joints.

In 2 months, Tokyo Techies developed a 3D simulation environment of the ship, complete with the robot model and its navigation simulation using ROS, a middleware used for building robotic applications, and Gazebo, a dynamic 3D robot simulator.

We created the ship‘s environment and robot model, incorporating all its physical quantities or kinematics. The robot’s sensor model and automatic control of the mapping tool were also considered during development. We also successfully included a LiDAR sensor model on the robot, helping the client obtain accurate data for navigation and ship mapping. Testing the robot in a virtual environment helped to prevent any potential data loss because of errors or imprecision.

Thanks to the successful simulation development, Tokyo Techies swiftly filled the technical gaps the client experienced. In doing so, the client could avoid a significant delay in their upcoming projects that relied on the data and technology provided by the 3D simulation environment.

Technologies used

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