There’s nothing like referring to another blog posting that you agree with 100%. The GateRocket technology mentioned here is very cool. It synthesizes the design into your FPGA target and allows you to run your testbench on the actual hardware. FPGA Debug, you can’t fix what you can’t see.
It seems to me that this Russian rocket test failure was the result of insufficient FPGA Simulation:
One has to wonder how to simulate this system. One robot pitches the ball, the other hits it. Robot Baseball Players to Necessitate Man’s Fusion with Rhinoceros – Robot baseball – Gizmodo. The simulation probably uses MatLab or SystemVision.
This is nice survey article from Ron Wilson at EDN on FPGA Simulation and Emulation. Ron talks about using simulation to avoid obvious problems, but also taking advantage of the flexibility of FPGAs. Verifying FPGA designs: Simulate, emulate, or hope for the best? – 2/19/2009 – EDN.