Development of a Learning Capability in Virtual Operator Models
Abstract This research developed methods for a virtual operator model (VOM) to learn the optimal control inputs for operation of a virtual excavator. Virtual design, used to model, simulate, and test new features, has often been limited by the fidelity of the virtual model of human operators. Human operator learns, over time, the capability, limits, and control characteristics of new vehicles to develop the best strategy to maximize the efficiency of operation. However, VOMs are developed with fixed strategies and for specific vehicle models (VMs) and require time-consuming re-tuning of the VOM for each new vehicle design. Thus, there typically is no capability to optimize strategies, taking account of variation in vehicle capabilities and limitations. A VOM learning capability was developed to optimize control inputs for the swing-to-pile task of a trenching operation. Different control strategies consisted of varied combinations of speed control, position control, and coast.