EUROMECH Colloquium 476
Real-time Simulation and Virtual Reality Applications of Multibody Systems
13-16 March 2006, Ferrol, Spain

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Nowadays, the market demands more and more products within shorter timeframes, and the industry is forced to face this challenge. The virtual product development is a modern approach to overcome the time and money consuming hardware steps. To carry out such a strategy, simulation of mechanical systems appears as an essential tool, since it provides the means to anticipate the physical behaviour of components and systems.

However, due to the intrinsic complexity of input and output data in this discipline, traditional user interfaces consisting of files and plots are being progressively substituted by virtual environments, authentic replica of their real counterparts. Real-time simulation plays a key role in such virtual reality applications, which not only require fast calculation of motion and deformation, but also interactive communication with input and output devices. Concepts like human-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop, haptic interfaces, or augmented reality are just some ingredients of these new simulators which offer an increasing degree of immersion to the user. Applications include assembling and disassembling of mechanical systems, control systems, ergonomics, aimed to improve the whole product cycle: design, analysis, testing, manufacturing, maintenance and recycling.


Computational methods for real-time performance and applications, which include:

  • Modelling techniques: choice of coordinates, rigid and flexible bodies, model reduction, linearization.
  • Equation formulations: global vs local, numerical vs symbolic, recursive.
  • Consideration of dynamic phenomena like contact and impact.
  • Numerical integrators for efficient and robust simulations.
  • Implementation aspects: hardware architecture, compilers and libraries, parallelization.
  • Simulators and virtual reality applications with human-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop, haptic interfaces.

It is a major goal of this colloquium to bring together people from academic institutions and from industry and to provide a basis for discussion and exchange of new concepts and ideas to scientists from all over Europe.

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