Game Development Reference
Figure 9. The magic world of Automation!
are better than humans. Yet, three main concepts
must be observed:
conveyor to the left elevator - is the perfect way
to introduce the role of logic control. In fact,
following this approach, the trainees perceive
that they use their eyes to know the state of the
system, their hands to change the system state
and their brains to devise and follow the correct
sequence of actions.
Although manual control is possible from the
user interface of ITS PLC, special Human-Ma-
chine Interface (HMI) consoles were designed for
the purpose - Figure 10. An eight switches console
is helpful to command the sorting, batching, and
the palletizer systems, while a console containing
four switches and one joystick is interesting to
command the “pick & place” system - the auto-
mated warehouse is not included in the training.
Visualization consoles, containing sixteen LEDs
each, were also developed. The purpose is to show
the state of the virtual sensors.
Visualization consoles are very important to
let trainees understand how a PLC works. In this
Participants must experiment and be the
actors in demonstrations;
Systems to control must not be too simple;
Experiments must be funny, so they can be
interesting and motivating for participants.
ITS PLC answers to all these requirements:
participants can fully interact, without any risk,
with the virtual systems; the emulated plants cor-
respond to machines and processes having some
functional, structural and behavioral complexity;
and the “game style” of the software is very ap-
pealing to the participants.
Putting a virtual plant in “manual mode” - for
instance, the sorting system - and ask the train-
ees to find a way to switch on and off the virtual
actuators in order to accomplish some mission
- for instance, to move a box from the entrance
Figure 10. HMI consoles for manual control