We present a principled method for motion prediction via dynamic simulation for rigid bodies in intermittent contact with each other where the contact region is a planar non-convex contact patch. Such methods are useful in planning and controlling for robotic manipulation. The planar non-convex contact patch can either be a topologically connected set or a disconnected set. Most works in rigid body dynamic simulation assume that the contact between objects is a point contact, which may not be valid in many applications. In this paper, using the convex hull of the contact patch, we build on our recent work on simulating rigid bodies with convex contact patches for simulating motion of objects with planar non-convex contact patches. We formulate a discrete-time mixed complementarity problem to solve the contact detection and integration of the equations of motion simultaneously. We solve for the equivalent contact point (ECP) and contact impulse of each contact patch simultaneously along with the state, i.e., configuration and velocity of the objects. We prove that although we are representing a patch contact by an equivalent point, our model for enforcing non-penetration constraints ensures that there is no artificial penetration between the contacting rigid bodies. We provide empirical evidence to show that our method can seamlessly capture transition among different contact modes like patch contact, multiple or single point contact.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues