Using a flight joystick to control a Stewart platform provides several advantages. Firstly, it allows for more intuitive and precise control of the platform's movement, since the joystick movements correspond to the movements of the platform compared to manual control. Secondly, using a joystick can provide a more immersive experience, particularly in applications such as flight simulators or virtual reality environments. The use cases for a joystick-controlled Stewart platform include flight simulation, aerospace research and testing, virtual reality systems, and robotics. The ability to precisely control the movement of the platform using a joystick can also be beneficial in tasks that require precision movements, such as medical procedures or material handling in manufacturing settings. Overall, the use of a joystick to control a Stewart platform can enhance the user's experience and improve the accuracy of the platform's movements in a variety of applications.
The application has been implemented using Acrome’s Stewart platform and Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick. To configure the joystick for use with the platform, we used Logitech's profiler program. This program allows for customization of the joystick's buttons and axis settings, as well as calibration of the joystick's movements. Calibration is a crucial step in ensuring the accuracy and precision of the joystick's movements and corresponding movements of the platform. By using the Logitech profiler program, we were able to fine-tune the joystick's settings to achieve the desired level of control over the Stewart platform's movements. Once the joystick was properly configured and calibrated, we are able to use it to navigate the platform with ease and precision.
If calibration is not done properly, Joystick will have offset errors such that when the stick is in the middle; in simulation it will show that it is slightly tilted to the right/left.
We developed a custom GUI on LabView for Stewart platform for Joystick control, all we need to do is tick joystick control option and set suitable deadband analog value which is basically the sensitivity of the joystick, If you increase that value too much, system will move on the z axis by itself. If you decrease that value too much, the
system will not detect small movements.
We can also change the value of Max Inc value which translates to the speed of the system But remember, higher Max Inc Value means harder control of the system.
The movements of the Stewart platform corresponds directly to the movements of the Joystick. Tilting the joystick right or left moves the platform's z-axis, allowing for lateral movement. Moving the joystick and D-pad forward and backward moves the platform's X-axis, enabling forward and backward movement. Moving the joystick and D-pad right and left moves the platform's Y-axis, enabling sideways movement. In addition to these movements, the joystick's trigger can be used in combination with other movements to control the platform's roll, pitch, and yaw axes. Moving the joystick and D-pad left or right while pressing the trigger will move the platform's roll axis, while moving the joystick and D-pad forward or backward while pressing the trigger will move the platform's pitch axis. Finally, tilting the joystick right or left while pressing the trigger will move the platform's yaw axis.
Check out our video providing demonstration of using the joystick to control our Stewart platform:
In conclusion, controlling a Stewart platform with a flight joystick provides a highly intuitive and precise means of controlling the platform's movements. By mapping specific joystick movements to corresponding platform movements, the user can navigate the platform with a greater degree of accuracy and control than with other control methods. The configuration of the joystick, including calibration and customization of the joystick's buttons and axis settings, is an important step in achieving the desired level of control. The ability to precisely control the movement of the platform using a joystick has numerous use cases.. Overall, using a flight joystick to control a Stewart platform provides a powerful tool for achieving precise and intuitive control in a variety of applications.
Check out Stewart platform: https://acrome.net/products/stewart-pro