Automation Class 2014

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The Scenario

The scenario we created this year was a "car" leaving its "garage", then the "garage" door closed behind itself as the "car" continued on its way to work to which it stopped, opened a "door" allowing the employee to walk through and it closes behind them. This was all achieved in one state. (The 'Going to Work State') In a second state (The'Home Time'. We just reversed the scenario to return 'Home'.

Equipment Used

Equipment Used in this scenario:

2 Divert Pulleys


2 MasterLinks


4 Wedge Sockets


4 Small Strops


1 Stage Weight


How we set it up

Firstly we brought the automation desk onto the Ath Stage. This was the best place to situate the desk because we were able to watch what the automation was doing and insuring no one walked onto the stage and was injured.

We used all four winches for this scenario and one Counterweight bar.

Each winch was given an axis, one through four. On the automation desk, so each winch would be recognizable.

Axis 1 - up stage garage door

Axis 2 - down stage garage door

Axis 3 - the car

Axis 4 - office door

Axis 1 and Axis 2 were grouped to hold a 3M length of scaffolding, acting as the garage door. By grouping Axis 1 and Axis 2 the scaffolding bar was able to fly accurately at the correct height and speed in unison in and out of the stage.

Axis 3 was named 'the car' but was in fact the mechanism to move the hypothetical car. A Zip up tower was used as the physical car. For axis 3 we ran the winch steel cable down to the Ath floor, through a divert pulley from stage left to stage right. Then was attached to the zip up tower.

Axis 4 was a stage weight attached to the end of the winch by a strop and a shackle.

Programming our scenario

Putting the scenario into action, we needed the car to get from the garage (point A) to work (point C) by using axis 3. We choose work as point C due to an action having to take place at B so that the garage door would open automatically and close in enough time for the car to be clear of the garage door (axis 1 and axis 2). Once the car reached point c the door of the office (axis 4) would then open automatically.

Firstly we had to create a new SHOW for our scenario,

1.Start by going into an existing show. Type SHOW, NUMBER (number not currently used), RECORD

2.Then name the show by typing SHOW, NUMBER (number you selected) TEXT (Then type the title of the show) followed by ENTER

After creating a new SHOW you then need to RIG all the axis you wish to use into that SHOW. You do this by typing,

AXSIS (number of axis) , RIG , ENTER

continue this process until all axis that you wish to use are rigged into the show.

Before we started to program the movement we had to set the soft low and soft high limits for each axis,

Soft Low Limits

1.Type QUERY, AXIS, (number of axis)

2.Click SET SOFT LOW LIMIT on the bottom right hand side of the screen

3.Enter syntax. i.e AXIS 1, SET SOFT LOW LIMIT -5 then press ENTER

Soft High Limits

1.Type QUERY, AXIS, (number of axis)

2.Click SET SOFT HIGH LIMIT on the bottom right hand side of the screen

3.Enter syntax. i.e AXIS 1, SET SOFT HIGH LIMIT 15000 then press ENTER


Once soft high and low limits have been set. You cannot land on your limit. e.g if you have your Soft Limit as -1. The AXIS will stop before this and land on 0.

To set the ZERO,

1.Move winch to position you want to set as 0.

2.Type QUERY, AXIS, number of AXIS you want.

3.At the bottom of the query menu on the right side of the screen, select SET POSITION, 0, ENTER

The zero is now set. Insure all axis has a zero.

Now all the limits are set you are able to name each axis like we had done,

1.AXIS (number of axis) TEXT what you want to call the axis i.e 'Car'

you do not have to name the axis but it could help locate an axis faster during a plotting session.

We grouped axis 1 and axis 2 into a Locked Group

A locked group ensures that all the axies within the group are linked together to maintain their relative position. This might be needed if there were a number of axies on 1 piece of set, and it could be potentially dangerous if any 1 axis were to move individually. If 1 axis encounters an error, all the others will stop, so their relative positions can be maintained.

At this point we can then start to think about the movement of the; Car, Garage Door and Office Door. We were successful in fully automating the movement from inside the garage to work in one GO cue. We were able to do this with the use of DELAYS and TRIGGERS and SPEEDS.