The controlling program was developed using Matlab. PI offers Matlab drivers for application development, and the VN-300 could readily be operated as a serial device. A single Matlab script was written, which would be able to run both phases of the project. Only a select handful of parameters had to be set to configure the program for a specific trial (which phase, which hexapod systems, etc.).
The program would load the PI command libraries then establish communication with the VN-300 over USB and with both hexapod systems over TCP/IP. The hexapod systems were referred to as Master and Follower. Master was the system which created the disturbances, while Follower used the feedback from the VN-300 to close the loop.
Next, the motion profile of the Master hexapod system was configured. The profile was to move ±5 degrees in pitch and roll. The gyroscope was configured, and then the motion of the Master system was initiated. Once moving, the VN-300 would be read, and the motion of the Follower system would be commanded accordingly. While systems were in motion, the data recorder of each hexapod system was triggered, recording the target position and actual position of the axes. A separate record was kept for the VN-300 data, with a time stamp.