-- UlucSaranli? - 24 Nov 2003

Interface Issues for PCM

The PCM should take user specified contact parameters and state information from the simulation to compute the contact forces (& moments) that should be applied to the robot at each contact event or time step.

The user should be able to define a library of different contact materials. This could be divided into substrates and feet materials. Each time a 'foot' or 'substrate' object is created it will have an associated material label, These should be specified in a text file that can be read when a simulation is created.

When a contact takes place the materials of each surface will be passed as parameters to the contact model, which will use these to determine how the contact forces will be generated.

To accomplish this the PCM querries the simulation for the pertenant state information and generates a force/impluse that is applied to both objects (unless we wish to constrain all 'substrate' objects to be rigidly attached to the world).

An inital investigation into DE shows that many of the features we want are already built in their contact model object. I think the main thing that I need to do is build on this (a dervied class? I'm not sure what the proper termenology is) and add information for adhesion. I'm looking into this currently.

For interface issues regarding forces generated, contact times, etc. the built-in contact objects appears to have a good set of functions (methods?). If more are needed by the RTI, please let me know.

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