Simulating reality using VALDYN
As part of Ricardo Software’s team+ initiative, employees were challenged to create a graphic or animation that highlights and demonstrates Ricardo Software’s unique features in an innovative and fun way.
Jonathan Plail, a Principal Software Engineer at Ricardo Software, submitted the idea of modelling a mannequin on a swinging swing. Using VALDYN, the model was created with the purpose of achieving a large swing angle in as little time as possible. The full power of VALDYN’s dynamic solver was put to use, demonstrating two valuable features of the software: solving generic equations of motion and powerful 2D animations.
The initial steps included connecting beams and 2D shapes to make the structure of the swing, followed by adding the downward force of gravity.
It was assumed that the main driver for actuating the swing was the movement of the center of mass, like in the real world where a rider shifts their legs to gain momentum. When the mass moved, the model would attempt to restore equilibrium; and a control strategy was implemented to move the center of mass through each phase. When the mannequin’s head had positive horizontal velocity, the legs would straighten to move the center of gravity and feet forwards. When the velocity was negative, the legs and would bend to move the feet back.
With some experimentation and fine tuning of the maximum bend angle and rate of change, Jon was able to successfully demonstrate VALDYN’s power and potential in an innovatively realistic swinging model.