Vortex Simulation Software


Vortex offers a robust C++ API framework for constructing high fidelity virtual worlds of dynamic objects in line with the laws of physics.

Users have an array of tools, power features and libraries at their disposal to develop and integrate high realism, real time simulations [showhide type="links0" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

Placing Virtual Worlds in Motion

Vortex performs stable collision response on primitive and arbitrary geometries as well as fast collision detection. Users can also model accurate physical motion and interactions to objects in a scene, offering a natural interactive workspace with free play on interactions or behaviour, without the need for scripted animations.

Vortex can be used to resolve simulation issues by dynamic response, collisions and contacts calculations, and allowing on the fly modifications to objects and constraints during simulation.

Users can build, visualize, test and merge high fidelity physics based graphic objects and scenes into OpenSceneGraph (OSG), Vega Prime and other scenegraphs.

Versatile Collision Geometry Toolkit

Multiple collision geometry types are supported by Vortex and they include a full range of geometrical accuracy and performance characteristics. These include mesh, convex mesh, triangle list, height fields and numerous primitives.

Users can include numerous geometries on a single part to increase the complexity of the collision geometry, link objects for geometric shapes used for collision response and detection, define realistic contact properties, and specify numerous fluid interaction properties.

Extensive Library of Constraints

An extensive constraint library including multi-body constraints are available in Vortex. The various constraints included are hinge, prismatic, ball and socket, cylindrical and slider among others. With these constraints, users can simulate numerous mechanisms like motors, springs, actuators, suspensions and dampers.

These constraints allow restrictions on orientations, positions and velocities, on a single rigid body, pairs of rigid bodies, or arbitrary groups consisting of three or more bodies.

Constraint relaxation is also included in Vortex Core. This allows the user to simulate objects such as cables and long beams.

Specialized Grasping Module

Vortex packages specialized modules for hand-modeling/grasping applications and robotics simulations.

The VxGrasp module calculates grasp quality for a collection of contacts between a gripper or manipulator and target objects. It provides a simple and effective method to simulate robotics grasping, as well as heavy machinery behaviour like grappling claws.

Grasp quality is based on a six-degrees-of-freedom wrench set generated by the grasp, and the module includes multiple options to change the reference coordinate system, add friction, rescale torques and much more.


Vortex Editor


The vortex editor is a 3D editing desktop software for creation, modification and visualization of complex mechanisms and scenes within the Vortex platform.

Utilizing its simple WYSIWYG interface, engineers can quickly build and test mechanisms based on 3D models, without requirements for C++ development. [showhide type="links1" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

With the Vortex Editor, users can assemble environments and mechanisms into scenes to setup various simulation scenarios.

Users can also test assemblies and mechanisms using the editor by using the mouse to apply external forces, or by changing parameter values to validate their results.

Vortex Editor provides access to the Vortex Dynamics API through its point and click graphical user interface (GUI), with the design intention to accelerate development of Vortex simulation applications.

The Vortex Editor allows users to perform on-the-fly testing and validations by editing mechanisms and scenes during simulation runtime.



Vortex Player


The Vortex Player allows you to deploy, visualize, share and troubleshoot Vortex applications.

With the positives of advanced visualizations/game engines without the negatives of integrations costs, the Vortex Player has the complete package to rapidly and easily deploy your simulation applications. [showhide type="links2" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

The networking layer is built-in to allow the deployment of multiple Vortex Player instances for synchronized multi-channel visualization across a network.

The Vortex Player can also be configured to distribute dynamics, graphics and external applications, for efficient distributed computing and real time performance across networked environments.

As a module within the Vortex framework, The Vortex Player utilizes all of the lighting effects and advanced visualizations of the Vortex visual system.

  • Dynamic lighting with texture mapping, shadow casting, particle-based effects (i.e., for dust, smoke, splash)
  • Built-in weather and skydome.
  • Maritime visualization with Vortex Marine
  • Cables visualization with Vortex Cable Systems and earth-moving with Vortex Earthworks

The Vortex Player, via configuration files or a command line interface is customizable to specify various parameters such as:

  • viewpoints within the simulation system for each node
  • dynamics engine server address
  • window dimensions of the application

The Vortex Player also provides a content debugger that allows you to apply changes and see its effects, and application run-time information to adjust the optimizations of your simulations. The content debugger and the ability to record and playback are included as additional features.



Vortex Vehicles


Vortex Vehicles takes on-the-fly simulation of trucks, cars, military vehicles, heavy equipment and robots to the next level.

Vortex Vehicles puts engineering-grade vehicles into any simulated environment for cutting-edge physics-based motions and interactions, through swift parameter-based assembly. [showhide type="links3" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

Deploy the Industry-leading Vehicle Simulation Solution

Vortex Vehicles sets the bar for real-time, physically accurate simulations of wheeled and tracked ground vehicles for testing, virtual prototyping, operator training, mission rehearsal and other real-world applications.

Vortex Vehicles features flexibility, engineering precision, easy scalability and reusable modelling, and is much more than just a vehicle creator.

Vortex vehicles simulates the full vehicle drivetrain, braking systems, steering, suspension, tire and track ground interactions, and is deployed in hundreds of applications.

Both rigid and flexible tracks as well as both skid and geared steering can be modelled.

Flexible and Time-saving Vehicle Modelling.

Using the same engineering properties employed by vehicle design engineers, Vortex Vehicles models vehicles dynamically, saving many man-months of effort because of its modeling features and flexible and reusable vehicle assembly.

The software allows the creation of realistic and robust mining, military, earth-moving, and other heavy vehicles.

Visual-simulation designers can easily add extra dynamic components such a, turrets, weapon systems, trailers, manipulators, drills, backhoes and ploughs, and with vehicle engineering data tables, quickly define drivetrain and suspension behavior.

Users control the vehicle through standard inputs such as throttle, steering, manual and automatic transmissions.

Unique, Accurate, Vehicle-Terrain-Environment

Vortex Vehicles correctly interacts with other objects, varying terrain and their environment and it is fully integrated within the Vortex world.

Slip, rolling resistance, and tire normal forces are all computed.

When colliding with other vehicles and obstacles, vehicles exhibit accurate behaviour simulating digging-in/ploughing, rollover, or responding to self-generated forces.

Vortex vehicles can also produce physics-based particle effects like dust, splash behaviour when entering water or accurate buoyancy.

When combined with Vortex Cable Systems for applications such as mobile cranes with hoisting systems, and tethered robots, are examples of Vortex vehicles that can incorporate cables systems.



Vortex Cable Systems


Vortex Cable Systems provides a great solution for simulating accurate cable motion and high fidelity cable-equipment interaction, for:

  • hoisting systems,
  • robot tethers,
  • underwater cables,
  • tow ropes and mooring lines

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Use Vortex Cable Systems to put accurately modelled 3D cables into your simulation for visualizing and predicting cable patterns.

You can add rope, tethers, chain, and hoisting systems to your application.

Add Physically Accurate Cables to Your Simulations

Vortex Cable Systems models the physical behavior of various marine and subsea cables, heavy-equipment, and is used widely for modelling cable systems in mining, construction, exploration, and robotics applications.

The software allows visual-modelling developers to create and deploy cables for 3D robots and vehicles, hoisting systems such as cranes, and towing, lifting and mooring systems, for a wide range of research, industrial and training purposes.

Model High-Fidelity Cable Behaviour

Vortex Cable Systems simulates real-time properties by allowing virtual cables to conform to bends, adding modelling levels of fidelity only in areas of high arc while administering mass and forces correctly.

Cables can interact and collide with themselves or with other dynamic Vortex objects.

Entire cable systems, including pulleys and winches, can be modelled, as well as the nature of chains, ropes, flexible pipes/tubing, and wire harnesses.

  Vortex Cable Systems ensures real-time behavior by allowing virtual cables to adjust to bends, adding simulation levels of detail only in areas of high curvature while distributing mass and forces correctly.

Cables can interact and collide with other dynamic Vortex objects or with themselves.

Complete cable systems, including winches and pulleys, can be simulated, as well as the behavior of ropes, flexible pipes/tubing, chains, and wire harnesses.

Sample Applications

Setup high fidelity Vortex cables in your visual simulations to simulate accurate behavior in applications such as:

  • crane hoisting systems for industrial, construction, port and marine applications
  • tethers in ground-based robots such as ordnance disposal robots
  • lifting systems involving spreaders and various cranes
  • Risers, subsea cables, and ROV tether management, including ocean-current effects and buoyancy
  • marine mooring, ship-to-ship transfer cables, anchoring lines
  • helicopter-lift, drop and rescue operations using ropes
  • vehicle and marine towing cables



Vortex Earthwork Systems


Earthmoving visualization and simulation

With Vortex Earthwork Systems, you can effortlessly include earthmoving capabilities to your simulations.   

Vortex Earthwork Systems provides functions similar to that found in industry-standard earthmoving machinery. [showhide type="links5" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

Its repertoire of user-configurable tool-soil interaction utilities includes a configurable blade, bucket, and truck bed.

Buckets and blades are easily simulated based on geometric and engineering parameters.

Terrain areas where machine can interact with soil materials in various ways, including cutting, compression, piling, dumping, and shearing can be done using Earthwork systems. With Vortex Earthwork Systems, you can easily add earthmoving capabilities to your simulations.

Vortex Earthwork Systems provides a toolset similar to that found in industry-standard earthmoving equipment.

Its library of user-configurable tool-soil interaction tools includes a configurable bucket, blade, and truck bed.

Buckets and blades are easily modelled based on geometric and engineering properties.

Earthwork Systems allows you to define terrain zones where tools can interact with soil materials in various ways, including compression, cutting, piling, dumping, and shearing.

Earthmoving visualization and simulation

Earthwork Systems supports soil accumulation, flow off the tools, and dumping using particle models.

Prefixed standard soil materials include sand, clay, loam, and gravel.

The simulation is unified with the Vortex Player for multi-channel visualization, and is fully unified with the Vortex Editor, which allows you to quickly edit your earthmoving simulation scenario without the need for coding, and replay it to see the effects of your changes on-the-fly.



Vortex Marine


Visualize and simulate vessels and subsea vehicles, with realistic wave and underwater effects

Vortex Marine models drag, buoyancy, lift and added mass hydrodynamic effects on submerged and floating bodies interacting with water.

The simulation is integrated with the Vortex Player for multi-channel visualization. [showhide type="links6" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

High fidelity wave models and ocean rendering    

Rapidly define sea state using the Douglas or Beaufort scale, and customize sea state by increasing wind fetches and swells, to produce motion and wave heights consistent with any wind speed and direction.

Vortex Marine integrates complete JONSWAP and Pierson-Moskowitz wave spectral models. Using the Vortex ICD, you can easily import your custom wave model into Vortex Marine with in-sync visualization. Vortex Marine simulates buoyancy, drag, lift and added mass hydrodynamic effects on floating and submerged bodies interacting with water.

The simulation is integrated with the Vortex Player for multi-channel visualization.

Realistic wave models and ocean rendering

Quickly define sea state using the Beaufort or Douglas scale, and customize sea state by adding wind fetches and swells, to produce wave heights and motion consistent with any wind speed and direction.

Vortex Marine incorporates full JONSWAP and Pierson-Moskowitz wave spectral models. Using the Vortex ICD, you can easily insert your own wave model into Vortex Marine with in-sync visualization.

True-to-life surface and subsea effects

Vortex Marine is fully unified with Vortex Dynamics and Vortex Cable Systems to create comprehensive system-level modelling of maritime, tow cables, lifting systems, subsea cables, and umbilicals.

Vortex models ROV hydrodynamics, tethers, propulsion systems, and manipulators, in flexible subsea conditions that incorporate current and visibility.

Vortex Marine is fully unified with the Vortex Editor and the Vortex Player, which allows you to quickly edit your marine modelling scenario without programming, and play it back to view the effects of your changes on-the-fly.



Vortex Human


Enhance the realism of your training simulations with true-to-life human characters

Add true to life human characters to your simulations with Vortex Human.

From construction and port workers to offshore platform riggers and soldiers, Vortex Human characters behave and move just like actual people. [showhide type="links7" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

Whether its soldiers patrolling in a military environment or a signaler giving hand signals to a crane operator, the characters you create in Vortex Human respond to high-level commands, and travel through the scenario as directed by you, with logical, seamless transitions from one activity to the next.

Vortex Human characters connect with their environment—for example, by climbing ladders or stairs, pushing objects, or avoiding collisions—with lifelike accuracy and physics, thanks to the embedded Vortex Dynamics engine.

With Vortex Human, you can make and change the parameters of trainee avatars and avatar points of view, and add non-player characters (NPCs) with forbidden/permitted zones and assigned AI scripts.

Instructors can give NPC commands (ranging from character movement and head motion to pre-set movements) with joystick or gamepad controls.

Vortex Human is fully unified with the Vortex Editor and the Vortex Player, which allows you to quickly change your simulation scenario without programming, and play it back to see the effects of your changes on-the-fly. Enhance the realism of your training simulations with true-to-life human characters



Vortex Simulink


The Vortex Simulink module makes it simple for you to integrate your current Simulink models into high fidelity multibody dynamics simulations. The Vortex Simulink module makes it easy for you to embed your existing Simulink models into realistic multibody dynamics simulations. [showhide type="links8" more_text="Show more" less_text="Hide"]

This translates to early prototyping and controller testing that can be performed in a virtual world, reducing development time and letting you gain early perception of human and system factors.

At the same time, robotic controllers created within Simulink can be executed on simulated robots that provide the same results as they would in real-life, saving you a great amount of system-level development time and prototype costs.

Vortex makes it simple for you to work with the technology you are already familiar with – while running Vortex, you can do tests and validations of embedded Simulink models in Simulink.

With Vortex Simulink, you can:

  • select the parameters to send/receive between Vortex and Simulink
  • configure the connection to Vortex in Simulink
  • connect Vortex inputs and outputs to other Simulink blocks in Simulink
  • execute numerous Simulink models in a simulation, and connect various mechanisms to a Simulink model
  • embed a Vortex model inside a Simulink application

Here are just a few of the examples Vortex users have already deployed the Vortex Simulink module's capabilities:

  • using Vortex to perform tests on multiple virtual prototypes—more quickly and economically than creating real prototypes
  • integrating an electronic stability control (ESC) Simulink model in a Vortex vehicle
  • embedding a complete ROV Simulink logic system in a simulation