August 15, 2005, 10:00 a.m. EST

Advanced science and Automation Corp. to develop an Advanced Virtual Manufacturing Lab.


Indianapolis, IN- Advanced Science and Automaton Corp. (ASA received $700K from the National Science Foundation (NSF and Indiana 21st century Research and technology fund ( under an STTR grant to develop an advanced virtual manufacturing lab (AVML) for training and education on high-tech CNC machine tools. ASA's academic partner in this project is the Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Laboratory (AEML) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The AEML is providing the expertise on CNC machines operation, machining process modeling, and manufacturing training.

The AVML will allow students and researchers to view and interact with a near-physically accurate simulation of CNC milling machines and lathes. Virtual instructors will give students step-by-step hands-on training on the various processes required to operate the machines. The machines can be used to test, experiment and optimize CNC codes and manufacturing process plans before machining on the physical machine. The AVML also includes a multimedia course entitled "Theory and practice of computer numerical control and modern machine tools." The course is delivered by a virtual instructor with synchronized: naturally sounding text-to-speech, written highlighted text, and animated 2D and 3D graphics. The course is presented using a hierarchical structured outline. The learner can ask the virtual instructor questions using natural-language speech or typed text.

The AVML is driven by the LEA and IVRESS software systems developed by ASA. The key elements of the AVML are: (a) textured 3D photo-realistic virtual models of the machines and lab including the machines' controllers, tool changers, stages, and fixtures; (b) machine logic engine which includes an emulator of the machines controller software and a G-code interperter; (c) semi-empirical models of the milling and turning operations; (d) hierarchical knowledge-base for process training; (e) unstructured knowledge-base for lecture delivery; (f) natural-language intelligent virtual tutors.

Pilot testing of the AVML system will start in the first quarter of 2006 at several university and community colleges in Indiana and Virginia. The AVML will enhance the quality, accessibility, and productivity of manufacturing education and training and will advance scientific discovery and engineering analysis of manufacturing processes. Also, The AVML will enhance experimentation and learning, increase student creativity and problem-solving capability, enhance collaboration among students, teachers, and industry experts, and promote participation and equal access of underrepresented groups to manufacturing technology training. Most potential manufacturing workers do not have access to state-of-the-art manufacturing labs that can provide the required training. The AVML will enable such access.

About the AEML:

The AEML at IUPUI was established in 1998 to facilitate teaching and conduct advanced research in the areas of CAD/CAM, CAE (Computer Aided Engineering), IPS (Interactive Product Simulation), and PDM (Product Data Management).

About Advanced Science and Automation, Corp.:

Advanced Science and Automation Corporation mission is to provide state-of-the-art simulation and virtual-reality solutions for our customers. Products include IVRESS, IVRESS/CFD, and LEA the most powerful object-oriented scene-graph based virtual-reality software tools for immersive visualization on the market, as well as DIS/CFD, DIS/Belt, and DIS/Tire time- accurate, explicit finite element solvers. For more information, please visit

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