RODOS dome

The illuminated RODOS dome in the Fraunhofer ITWM atrium is a visual highlight.

RODOS ® - RObot based Driving and Operation Simulator

Interactive simulation with RODOS

Interactive simulation with RODOS

In the vehicle design durability and reliability must be examined and validated at very early stages of the project. To map the relevant processes in the simulation correctly, all external influences have to be considered in the vehicle. These include the driver and the driver assistance systems that affect the control loop "vehicle control". The driver reaction has to be considered in any case to ensure operability and usability of new automation and assistance systems.

Prototype tests under real conditions and for all possible types of use and operator are impractical both for reasons of cost and because of the relatively poor reproducibility. The use of prototypes at early stages of development is often not possible because of the modularity of the development. Therefore, the best solution from a technical and financial perspective represents an interactive simulator to assess complex situations in combination with the driver's influence under highly reproducible conditions and without risk.

RODOS® with Passat

RODOS® with Passat

For this reason, we have designed an interactive motion simulator based on an industrial robot at the ITWM. RODOS® allows with 1000kg payload the use of series cabs and chassis, so that the feel and haptic impression is close to real vehicles. Within a spherical projection dome with 10 m diameter seamless projection of an interactive scene is generated. The range of motion of the robot system is very large compared to conventional hexapod platforms.


Good fit to reality

The visualization system supports not only classical 3D scenes, the rendering of 3D laser scanner data is a unique feature. Since mid-2015 our 3D laser scanner vehicle REDAR (Road and Environment Data Acquisition Rover) is available for highly accurate geo-referenced surveying of roads and environments.

The environment rendered in the simulation (see picture) includes about 20km road. The hard disk space required for this scenario is about 2Tb, the resolution is in the sub-centimeter range.

The main advantages of measured scenes are the very good matching between reality and virtual world and the extreme high optical complexity. The necessary effort to model such a scene is reduced to a minimum. In addition to the real-time visualization with 120 Hz a terrain server has been implemented to use advanced tire simulation models such as CDTire. Both systems are using the 3D laser scanner data as a common database, so that visual presentation and dynamic simulation are consistent.

RODOS® technical data

  • Design and construction time: 2009 – 2012
  • 18 projectors for all-round visibility in the projection dome (diameter: 10 meters)
  • Resolution: 11520 × 3600 Pixels
  • Six-axis industrial robot enables wide field of maneuver and large tilt angle
  • Interchangeable cabins (currently: excavators, cars, tractors)
  • Payload: 1000 kg