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This paper describes a tool framework allowing the rapid prototyping of an animated synoptic application associated with an embedded system controller. The motto for developing this tool framework is to be able to automatically generate controllers with associated graphical user interface (GUI) without writing a line of execution code; instead, the tool framework will provide specific aids allowing the designer to define the controller behavior and associated GUI (including static parts and intended dynamics). The behavior of the controller is described through a low-level Petri-net model, and the tool framework supports the definition of characteristics for the intended GUI and the association of the characteristics of the Petri-net behavioral model with specific characteristics of the GUI through a set of dedicated rules. Two main tools are described. The first one, named as ??Animator,?? allows an interactive definition of the graphical characteristics of the synoptic and automatic code generation. The second one, named as ??Synoptic,?? is responsible for the embedded control-execution part, integrating real-time updating of the GUI. The application of the tool framework to a simple automation system, namely, to the controller of a manufacturing system composed of a four-cell first-in-first-out system, is presented.
Date of Publication: May 2010