Using VHDL-AMS-Based Simulation Technology for the Design and Verification of Mechatronic Systems 2005-01-0562
Software and electronic circuits are commonly used with mechanical components today. In the past, the design of functionally sufficient and robust mechanical components was always completed by experienced mechanical engineers. This is changing, however. The requirements of additional functionality and reduced price have led to the introduction of mechatronics - mechanical parts augmented with electronic hardware controlled by software. Designing and verifying such a system is a challenge that requires a change in methodology as two very different engineering disciplines collide.
This paper illustrates a simulation-based design methodology for software controlled, electro-mechanical components using an autonomous mobile robot as an example. VHDL-AMS, the Analog-Mixed-Signal extension (IEEE 1076.1) of the digital hardware description language VDHL, was used as the main modeling language. Starting with the drivetrain, the complete system was modeled and simulated with VHDL-AMS, moving from abstract, behavioral level to SPICE transistor level. The goals of simulating on different abstraction levels vary from estimating the power consumption to verifying the software control algorithm.