Graphical Simulation of Articulated Rigid Body System Kinematics with Collision Detection
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The area of concern addressed by this thesis is the development of a 3-D visual simulation to aid in the testing of ground detection and foot placement algorithms for an articulated walking robots foot pads on uneven terrain. Several collision detection algorithms and terrain mapping techniques were studied to determine which approach would lend itself readily to the rapid detection of initial ground contact and the required orientation needed to place each foot firmly on the ground. As a result of these studies a real-time, realistic and aesthetically pleasing graphical simulation for the testing of control software for articulated walking machines has been developed which utilizes the Silicon Graphics 3-D visual simulation toolkit, Performer. Not only is rapid ground contact sensing and foot orientation possible, it is accomplished without using extraneous data structures making the algorithm generic enough to use on any terrain model.