Virtual Autonomous Operator Model For Construction Equipment Applications

2012-12-09T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Ahmed A. Elezaby
Developing new construction equipment requires large investment in re-engineering and testing. After the design is completed, a prototype is built. This prototype is tested by experienced operators through pre-defined tests and performs normal operations of the construction equipment. Usually, many modifications are needed on the prototype machine based on the tests results. The prototype is then modified and tested again. This iterative design and testing process continues until the product meets all performance specifications and confirmed by extensive test results. This procedure requires spending a lot of time and money in building prototypes and testing it. Virtual product development (VPD) has become essential now in developing construction equipments to improve the machine quality, reliability and operability saving significant cost and time in building prototypes and testing them The objective of the thesis is to build a virtual operator model that can (1) control, test and evaluate virtual construction equipment before building the prototype, (2) autonomously control the construction equipment after being built. Furthermore, the virtual operator model is adaptive to properly control different models of the same machine. The operator model presented in this thesis is useful in evaluating a new machine design and predicting its performance in as real applications as possible as real operators would operate it. Using this tool, potential problems can be identified in early design stage, hence reducing the costly prototype testing stage of the machine development.