Model-based kinematic simulation

Elisha Sacks*, Leo Joskowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We present a practical simulation program for rigid part mechanisms, such as feeders, locks, and brakes. The program performs a kinematic simulation of the behavior produced by part contacts and driving motions along with a dynamical simulation of the behavior produced by gravity, springs, and friction. It describes the behavior in a compact, symbolic format and with a realistic, three-dimensional animation. The program is more efficient and informative than traditional simulators. It examines roughly 1/6 as many degrees of freedom because the kinematics module eliminates the blocked ones. It spends little time on collision detection because the kinematics module precomputes the configurations where parts collide. It covers more mechanisms than do previous model-based simulators, generates fuller behavioral descriptions, and exploits kinematics more fully. It uses a simple model of dynamics that captures the steady-state effect of forces without the conceptual and computational cost of dynamical simulation. We demonstrate that our simulation algorithm captures the workings of most mechanisms by surveying 2500 mechanisms from an engineering encyclopedia.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAutomated Modeling
PublisherPubl by ASME
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)0791811034
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes
EventWinter Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers - Anaheim, CA, USA
Duration: 8 Nov 199213 Nov 1992

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Dynamic Systems and Control Division (Publication) DSC


ConferenceWinter Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
CityAnaheim, CA, USA


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