Collision-Detection Based on a Fast Distance Computation Technique

  • Josep Tornero
  • G. Hamlin
  • R. B. Kelley
Part of the Microprocessor-Based and Intelligent Systems Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 9)


A three-dimensional object representation technique for generating a spherical-geometry and a fast procedure for computing distances using this geometry is presented. An object is approximated by an infinite number of spheres. The shortest distance between two objects is obtained by finding the two spheres, one from each object, that are closest. Exceptional numerical results have been obtained, for example, the maximum time for computing self-collision for a standard PUMA robot-arm is equal to 2.30 milliseconds with an error in distance less of than 1cm. This makes the new technique an invaluable tool for computing distances and therefore permits collision-detection in real-time. This technique has been applied to a complex robotic system consisting of two PUMA robots, each mounted on a three-degree of freedom platform used at the CIRSSE to study robotic assembly of structures in space.


Robotic System Distance Computation Collision Detection Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Computing Distance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josep Tornero
    • 1
  • G. Hamlin
    • 2
  • R. B. Kelley
    • 2
  1. 1.D.Ingeniería de Sistemas, Computadores y Automática (DISCA)Universidad Politécnica de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Center for Intelligent Robotics Systems for Space Exploration Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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