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Simulators and solvers for fast (and maybe more accurate?) rigid body dynamics with frictional contact


Kenny Erleben
Department of Computer Science University of Copenhagen

November 6, 2018 at  2:30 PM
McConnell Engineering Room 437

Abstract:

Building a simulator for throwing rigid bodies around in a virtual world or create tall stacks of bodies can be both great fun and frustrating at the same time. The classical tradeoff between performance and accuracy is always present, and often spiced up with the need for robustness to accommodate interactive usage by real world humans. It is fascinating to create and implement algorithms that work under such conditions. It feels artistic at times when designing a simulator or creating a numerical method that can pass the endurance test of such tough requirements of being fast, accurate and robust at the same time. In this talk the audience will gain a glimpse into some of the challenges, aspects and considerations one encounters when building a rigid body simulator. The talk presents an overview and intuitive understanding of iterative methods used for contact force computations in rigid body simulations. The focus is limited to constraint based approaches completely ignoring alternative paradigms for simulating interactions between rigid bodies. During the talk several iterative schemes will be outlined and commented on. Movies demonstrating behavior, short comings or potential benefits will be shown. The talk will conclude with random rambling thoughts about more recent future challenges including contact point generation, frictional modeling, and validation. Leaving the audience with an impression of some of the open research questions that is being pushed for at University of Copenhagen. The talk targets mostly a computer science audience with some elementary knowledge of classical mechanics. Concepts from linear algebra and partial differential equations will be used. However, the emphasis in the presentation will be more on the concepts and intuition behind methods than on rigorous mathematical derivations or proofs.

Short biography:

Kenny Erleben is an Associate Professor in Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen. He completed his PhD in 2005. His research interests are Computer simulation and numerical optimization with particular interests in computational contact mechanics of rigid and deformable objects, inverse kinematics for computer graphics and robotics, computational fluid dynamics, computational biomechanics, foam simulation, interface tracking meshing. Erleben has worked with fast and efficient numerical methods for contact force computations in rigid body simulations for approximately 20 years and his work includes several contributions on numerical methods for fast and robust interaction. Erleben is leading the Network: Rapid Biomechanics Simulation for Personalized Clinical Design (RAINBOW) is a 'Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Training Network' and collaborated with NVIDIA on fast high fidelity robotic simulations for AI as well as industrial research projects with IO-Interactive on data-driven character animation.