Simscape Extends Simulink for Modeling, Simulating Mechatronic

The MathWorks announced the availability of the Simscape language, a new capability that enables textual authoring of physical modeling components, domains, and libraries in the Simulink environment. The new language is included in Simscape, which extends Simulink for modeling and simulating mechatronic and other multidomain physical systems using a physical network, or acausal modeling, approach.

The new Simscape language, based on the widely used MATLAB language, enables engineers to develop reusable models of components and systems for rapidly advancing technologies, such as fuel cells, wind power systems, and hybrid electric vehicles. With this new capability, Simscape can be extended by end users and partners to create and share reusable models, thereby raising the efficiency of teams and improving communication.

With these shared physical models, design teams can simulate system behavior more accurately, develop more robust control strategies, perform design tradeoffs, and find system performance errors early in the development process. Companies can explore more design options and help reduce the cost of testing, as errors are found in simulation rather than requiring hardware prototypes.

“The new Simscape language is quite powerful. It lets me create custom components, a ‘must have,’ when modeling physical systems,” said Dr. Arie Weeren, manager academic support ICT, University of Antwerp. “The language is also very intuitive. Anyone with existing MATLAB skills will find it easy to use Simscape.”

As systems grow in complexity and require the integration of additional technologies, such as with mechatronics systems, engineers need simulation tools that span electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and other physical domains. In the past, engineering teams needed to master unrelated tools from multiple software vendors and learn to connect them together in cosimulation, which is time-consuming, can require detailed understanding of simulation techniques, and makes automated validation testing challenging. Now engineers can work in a single environment by combining Simscape with domain-specific physical modeling tools from The MathWorks (SimElectronics, SimMechanics, SimDriveline, SimHydraulics, and SimPowerSystems), and avoid the complex task of setting up cosimulation.

“The MathWorks has a long history, since Simulink was first introduced in 1990, of helping users create models and executable specifications to help improve communication of requirements and design concepts between engineering disciplines, which is critical in mechatronic and other system design,” said Jim Tung, MathWorks Fellow. “As part of our commitment to addressing customer demands, we continue providing new capabilities to support the development of system-level physical models for simulation, helping users ensure solid results while reducing the money spent on real prototypes.”

Pricing and Availability
The Simscape language is available immediately as part of the Simscape product. Simscape requires MATLAB and Simulink (each sold separately). U.S. list prices start at $2,000. SimElectronics, SimMechanics, SimDriveline, SimHydraulics, and SimPowerSystems are also sold separately.

The MathWorks is the world’s leading developer of technical computing and Model-Based Design software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. With an extensive product set based on MATLAB and Simulink, The MathWorks provides software and services to solve challenging problems and accelerate innovation in automotive, aerospace, communications, financial services, biotechnology, electronics, instrumentation, process, and other industries. The MathWorks was founded in 1984 and employs more than 2,000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts.

MATLAB and Simulink are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc.