Vehicle Manipulator for Motor Shows.

This system was developed, in conjunction with a firm specialising in product presentations, for a major UK motor manufacturer for use at two motor shows; at Birmingham in 2000 and at Geneva in 2001.
The vehicle was mounted on a sub- frame with hydraulic rams so that it can be tilted front to back and side to side by up to 30 degrees. The suspension unit of each wheel was replaced by a hydraulic ram so that they can be individually manipulated, and each wheel is driven by its own electric motor.
The hydraulic power packs were mounted in the engine compartment, and the four variable speed motor drives and other control electronics were mounted in the boot. Each wheel could be driven individually, so as to simulate wheel spin and skidding etc. The suspension units for each wheel were manipulated to simulate various terrain conditions; from wallowing through mud to cobble stones.
All the motions were controlled by a real-time process control computer which was programmed to synchronise all the motions with a video film which illustrated the manoeuvrability of the vehicle and simulated features such as traction control and anti-lock braking systems.
The control computer executed a high level multitasking language; each task being allocated to a particular motion, with synchronisation markers to keep each in sequence. This degree of control proved invaluable, as the video was being continuously edited by the exhibition design team right up until the last few hours before the press preview day.
These photographs show the stand before the camouflage was added to hide the sub-frame.