March 25, 2016

Manipulator Control Case Study

The beauty of Jupiter control systems is that the end user has the capability to fully configure the system, including the software and user interface, to suit their requirements, and reconfigure as and when required.  This avoids high software development costs when developing new tooling, or making minor changes to functionality.  This means that clients can purchase a standard Jupiter 2 system which has the functionality to meet a range of requirements and use it for a number of different applications.  Also control systems can be moved from tool to tool saving the cost of buying a complete control system for each tool, when tools are not in constant use.

All Jupiter systems operate from the same PC based software, which means that a user that has worked on one Jupiter system will quickly become familiar with another, and be able to use their expertise to get the best out of the tooling, saving time and money.

Recent additions to the Jupiter surface software include: Drag and drop user graphics design, multiple datalogger reports, enhanced maths pack editing, search and export utilities.

These features mean that end users can quickly specify and commission new tooling designs in an efficient and cost effective fashion.  Below is a case study of a recent in house development carried out at Zetechtics in response to client requests, which demonstrates these benefits, and which has led to a new product for Zetechtics, and our clients.

Manipulator Control Case Study

Zetechtics have designed and built a new variant of the Jupiter 2 ROV intervention tooling control system specifically for proportional control of manipulators.  A number of clients have expressed an interest in this application whether for installation on a tooling skid, or an ROV.  It is an attractive solution to this application for a number of reasons including: reliability, common components with their other Jupiter 2 control systems and familiarity of their trained technicians with Jupiter 2 hardware and software.

The product development has been a relatively simple process, as a prototype control system with all the required functionality was built from an existing standard Jupiter 2 system.  The system has 7 fully proportional bidirectional hydraulic valves, and the associated counterbalance and pressure relief valves.  This was tested with an FMCTI Schilling Atlas 7R manipulator.  The user control interface for the manipulator is an X-Box wireless controller as requested.

The whole process from start to finish took less than a month, including specification, producing assembly drawings, assembly, delivery of test equipment and testing.  The user interface was designed while the control system was being built, so once the system was complete and the Atlas arm received for test, it was possible to connect the arm and operate it straight away.  Minor adjustments and enhancements were made to the user interface.  Some valves were changed to achieve smooth movement.

The full proportional control means the arm can be moved very delicately and precisely, or more quickly and utilising the full powerful capability of this heavy duty manipulator.  The intuitive control through the X-Box controller means that even an unfamiliar user can quickly become a competent operator.

The final step in the development process was to design a custom package to minimise the size and weight for this application.  The development process has provided a welcome new member to the Jupiter 2 product family, and generated a lot of interest with both new and existing clients.  The first new systems are due for delivery to clients in February.

For more information on our Jupiter Range of products:

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