The MathWorks Delivers SimMechanics 2 for Real-Time Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation

1/21/2003 - The MathWorks announced the availability of SimMechanics 2, the latest version of its mechanical simulation software that expands the power of Simulink® to model physical systems. With SimMechanics 2, engineers now have the ability to simulate their mechanical models on real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems, allowing them to test and improve their controller and mechanical designs earlier in the design cycle.

SimMechanics animations of a four cylinder engine simulation. The Virtual Reality Toolbox (left) is used to show representative geometric graphics, while the MATLAB Graphics (right) is automatically generated from the SimMechanics model.

The new version of the software allows users to generate C code from a SimMechanics model using Real-Time Workshop®, which creates optimized ANSI C code from Simulink block diagrams. As a result, engineers can run their SimMechanics models on real-time and hardware-in-the-loop systems.

"We are seeing a trend in the adoption of HIL simulation technology, especially in the automotive, aerospace, and industrial equipment markets," said Jay Sharp, product manager for SimMechanics, The MathWorks. "The increase in the adoption of tools like Simulink and SimMechanics has radically reduced the cost of developing and implementing HIL simulations. HIL is becoming an important part of most mainstream product development environments."

Real-Time Workshop produces processor-independent code that represents the SimMechanics model exactly, and allows users to run their model as a stand-alone executable. The generated code may be used in a variety of ways, including acceleration of non real-time simulations and use as a system or plant model for real-time testing in a hardware-in-the-loop simulator.

SimMechanics 2 also offers other new capabilities, including improved animation, new spring-damper blocks, and a new variable mass block. Animating models in SimMechanics is easier with several improvements to the MATLAB® graphics animation tool. New buttons have been added to toggle the display of coordinate systems, center-of-gravity icons, and bodies. Users can create movies of the mechanical system motion, storing the animations as AVI files to be used later in presentations.

About SimMechanics
SimMechanics enables engineers and researchers to model mechanical systems (bodies and joints), simulate their motion, and analyze the results all within the Simulink environment. As a physical modeling product, SimMechanics expands Simulink to enable multidomain modeling of mechanical systems connected to any control and dynamic system designed with traditional Simulink blocks.

About The MathWorks
The MathWorks is the world's leading developer of technical computing software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. With an extensive product set based on MATLAB and Simulink, The MathWorks provides software and services to solve challenging problems and accelerate innovation in automotive, aerospace, communications, financial services, biotechnology, electronics, instrumentation, process, and other industries. The MathWorks was founded in 1984 and employs more than 1000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts. For additional information, visit

MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow, Handle Graphics, and Real-Time Workshop are registered trademarks, and TargetBox is a trademark of The MathWorks, Inc.

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