Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
This graph must be carefully interpreted.
However, the trend seems to indicate that more
the students have got good marks, better is the
learning feeling. Thus it confirms the utility
value of ITS PLC expressed by students in the
enquiry. It is worth emphasizing that these are
preliminary results. Similar surveys following
more rigorous statistical analysis and involving
larger groups of students are expected to occur in
the future trying to confirm this first analysis.
Therefore, a major conclusion from the “suc-
cess stories” presented is this section is that, in
spite of its early age, ITS PLC is showing to have
numerous applications areas and is proving to be
an effective education and training tool in all of
them. The future will certainly confirm this trend.
the actual power of multithread physics on GPUs
makes possible to include highly complex rigid
bodies and dynamic fluids real-time simulations
in synthetic systems; by using hardware instanc-
ing techniques, it is possible to handle hundreds
or even thousands of 3D models simultaneously
on a scene; inverse kinematics enables the in-
corporation of complex 3D animations that can
realistically react to the environment. These are
some features that were very hard or even impos-
sible to explore three years ago.
Although most of the ITS PLC technical
support comes from video games technology, it
also depends most on some others; for instance,
on interfacing technologies. At this moment ITS
PLC includes a DAQ board, which is the only
available interface with an external PLC. Yet,
several experimental prototypes based on TCP/
IP and OPC technologies are showing to be an
interesting and efficient way to interface ITS PLC
to third party controllers. In addition, the actual
constraint in data exchange between ITS PLC and
the external controller resulting from the exclusive
support of binary data will be eliminated in the
near future, and analog data exchange will also
be possible. Thus, future editions of ITS PLC
will provide more flexible and efficient ways
to exchange data with third party hardware and
software controlling devices.
Considerable research and development is
also being currently conducted in order to include
new sensory and modern identification devices in
future synthetic plants. This is because providing
virtual scenarios that include RFID devices, bar
code readers, displacement transducers or level
sensors, will boost their usage and educational
efficiency in any industrial automation program,
probably defining a new state of the art for syn-
thetic systems based training.
Additional guidelines for product improve-
ment are also being considered; however, these
will only be revealed at the proper time. After all,
every game has its own secrets...
THE NEAR FUTURE
ITS PLC Professional Edition is a mature and
worldwide well accepted product available in
nine languages, ranging from West European to
East Asian. Additional translations will probably
be available soon, as ITS PLC is presently being
used in more than twenty countries by a wide
range of different users: engineering and techni-
cal schools have found an interesting solution to
introduce control and automation principles to
young students; industrial training centers have
discovered an invaluable, off the shelf, low cost,
space saving and maintenance free professional
training solution; and even scientist report they
have found a valuable research aid in the field of
supervisory and fault-tolerant control.
Nevertheless, the supporting technology of
ITS PLC is now three years old. During this pe-
riod, video games technology, the key stone of
synthetic systems, has evolved. Some advances
are particularly helpful to design synthetic sys-
tems, since they facilitate, or even enable, the
development of more complex industrial plants
and the introduction of additional features in the
already available training scenarios. For instance:
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