Robust contact generation for robot simulation with unstructured meshes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents a numerically stable method for rigid body simulation of unstructured meshes undergoing forceful contact, such as in robot locomotion and manipulation. The key contribution is a new contact generation method that treats the geometry as having a thin virtual boundary layer around the underlying meshes. Unlike existing methods, it produces contact estimates that are stable with respect to small displacements, which helps avoid jitter or divergence in the simulator caused by oscillatory discontinuities. Its advantages are particularly apparent on non-watertight meshes and can easily simulate interaction with partially-sensed and noisy objects, such as those that emerge from low-cost 3D scanners. The simulator is tested on a variety of robot locomotion and manipulation examples, and results closely match theoretical predictions and experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRobotics Research - 16th International Symposium ISRR
EditorsPeter Corke, Masayuki Inaba
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783319288703
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event16th International Symposium of Robotics Research, ISRR 2013 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Dec 16 2013Dec 19 2013

Publication series

NameSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)1610-7438
ISSN (Electronic)1610-742X


Conference16th International Symposium of Robotics Research, ISRR 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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