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Contact and deformation modeling for interactive environments has seen many applications, from surgical simulation and training, to virtual prototyping, to teleoperation, etc., where both visual feedback and haptic feedback are needed. High-quality feedback demands a high level of physical realism as well as a high update rate in rendering, which are often conflicting requirements. In this paper, we present a unique approach to modeling force and deformation between a rigid body and an elastic object under complex contacts, which achieves a good compromise of reasonable physical realism and real-time update rate (at least 1 kHz). We simulate contact forces based on a nonlinear physical model. We further introduce a novel approximation of material deformation suitable for interactive environments based on applying Bernoulli-Euler bending beam theory to the simulation of elastic shape deformation. Our approach is able to simulate the contact forces exerted upon the rigid body (that can be virtually held by a user via a haptic device) not only when it forms one or more than one contact with the elastic object, but also when it moves compliantly on the surface of the elastic object, taking friction into account. Our approach is also able to simulate the global and local shape deformation of the elastic object due to contact. All the simulations can be performed in a combined update rate of over 1 kHz, which we demonstrate in several examples.
Date of Publication: June 2007