Constraint-based Simulation of Passive Suction Cups


In this paper, we propose a physics-based model of suction phenomenon to achieve simulation of deformable objects like suction cups. Our model uses a constraint-based formulation to simulate the variations of pressure inside suction cups. The respective internal pressures are represented as pressure constraints which are coupled with anti-interpenetration and friction constraints. Furthermore, our method is able to detect multiple air cavities using information from collision detection. We solve the pressure constraints based on the ideal gas law while considering several cavity states. We test our model with a number of scenarios reflecting a variety of uses, for instance, a spring loaded jumping toy, a manipulator performing a pick and place task, and an octopus tentacle grasping a soda can. We also evaluate the ability of our model to reproduce the physics of suction cups of varying shapes, lifting objects of different masses, and sliding on a slippery surface. The results show promise for various applications such as the simulation in soft robotics and computer animation.

ACM Transactions on Graphics

Supplementary video


        author = {Bernardin, Antonin and Coevoet, Eulalie and Kry, Paul and Andrews, Sheldon and Duriez, Christian and Marchal, Maud},
        title = {Constraint-Based Simulation of Passive Suction Cups},
        year = {2022},
        doi = {10.1145/3551889},
        journal = {ACM Trans. Graph.},
        month = {jul}