The development of sophisticated controllers for driving multi degree-of-freedom robot mechanisms in human environments is a complex task: robots are expensive, delicate and often require regular maintenances to operate finely. In order to efficiently and safely conceive new control strategies and to also design new robotic platforms, research efforts have lead towards the development of a dynamic multi-contact multi-body simulation framework named SAI (Simulation & Active Interface) which provides a unified set of tools to simulate the dynamic behavior and control of virtual robots. To instinctively interact with the simulated environments, the user can operate commands through the use of haptic interfaces.
The SAI simulation framework is currently used to develop and simulate a wide variety of mechanism from mobile robots to human like structures. Advanced controllers using force control approaches are first developed and tested using the SAI simulation framework before being ported to the real robotic platforms.
Robotics and Interactive Simulation, O. Khatib, O. Brock, K. Chang, F. Conti, D. Ruspini and L. Sentis, Communications of the ACM, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 46-51, March 2002