The development of a physics and constraint based haptic virtual assembly system

Germanico González-Badillo, Hugo I Medellin-Castillo, Theodore Lim, James Millar Ritchie, Samir Garbaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the development and key features of a novel virtual reality
system for assembly planning and evaluation called HAMS (Haptic Assembly and
Manufacturing System). The system is intended to be used as a tool for training, design analysis and path planning. The proposed system uses the physics-based
modelling (PBM) to perform assemblies in virtual environments. Moreover, dynamic assembly constrains have been considered to reduce the degrees of freedom of virtual objects and enhance the virtual assembly performance. To evaluate the effectiveness and performance of HAMS, the assembly of
various mechanical components has been carried out and the results have shown that it can be effectively used to simulate, evaluate, plan and automatically formalise the assembly of complex models in a more natural and intuitive way.
The collision detection performance is the bottleneck in any virtual assembly system. New methods of collision shape representation and collision detection algorithms must be considered. HAMS introduces the use of dynamic assembly constraints to enhance the virtual assembly performance. HAMS also uses features not yet reported by similar systems in the literature. These features include: automatic or manual definition of assembly constraints within the virtual assembly system; the implementation of control panels and widgets to modify simulation parameters during running time to evaluate its influence on simulation performance; assembly data logging such as trajectories, forces and update rates for post-processing, further analysis or its presentation in the form of chronocyclegraphs to graphically analyse the assembly process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-55
JournalAssembly Automation
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2014


  • Haptic
  • Physics simulation engine
  • Virtual assembly
  • Assembly process
  • physics-based modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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