Simulating robotic manipulation of cabling and interaction with surroundings


The manipulation of non-rigid parts, particularly cabling structures, such as the cable harness, raises various issues that require dealing with complex modeling. The first important issue is the prediction of the shape of flexible parts itself. Also, addressing collision detection problems is of high importance. However, both are computationally intensive problems, as well as coupled. More specifically, regarding modeling, the structure of a harness can affect the mechanics (regardless of whether it is modeled like a cable). In this paper, such phenomena have been taken into account. What is more, collision detection between cables and rigid bodies is performed, regarding a quasi-static approach. Furthermore, cable-cable interaction cases are also addressed with the herein presented algorithm. A methodology, based on the geometrical characteristics of a cable, is given, and illustration from implementation in a commercial software is discussed. The simulation of an industrial case of assembling cabling harness in automotive sector is used to prove the usability of the algorithm and the modeling.


  1. 1.

    Chryssolouris G (2006) Manufacturing systems—theory and practice, 2nd edn. Springer-Verlag, New York

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Papacharalampopoulos A, Makris S, Bitzios A, Chryssolouris G (2016) Prediction of cabling shape during robotic manipulation. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 82(1-4):123–132.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Makris S, Michalos G, Chryssolouris G (2012) Virtual commissioning of an assembly cell with cooperating robots. In: Advances in Decision Sciences. Accessed 19 Jan 2018

  4. 4.

    Dini G, Santochi M (1992) Automated sequencing and subassembly detection in assembly planning. CIRP Ann 41(1):1–4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Kaltsoukalas K, Makris S, Chryssolouris G (2015) On generating the motion of industrial robot manipulators. Robot Comput Integr Manuf 32:65–71.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Michalos G, Makris S, Chryssolouris G (2015) The new assembly system paradigm. Int J Comput Integr Manuf 28(12):1252–1261.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Liu SC, Hu SJ (1997) Variation simulation for deformable sheet metal assemblies using finite element methods. J Manuf Sci Eng 119(3):368–374.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Wischnitzer Y, Shvalb N, Shoham M (2008) Wire-driven parallel robot: permitting collisions between wires. Int J Robot Res 27(9):1007–1026.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Loock A, Schömer E, Stadtwald I (2001) A virtual environment for interactive assembly simulation: from rigid bodies to deformable cables. In: In 5th world multiconference on Systemics, cybernetics and informatics, pp 325–332

  10. 10.

    Linn J, Stephan T, Carlsson J, Bohlin R (2008) Fast simulation of quasistatic rod deformations for VR applications. In: Progress in industrial mathematics at ECMI 2006. Springer, Berlin, pp 247–253

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Millington I, Millington I, Daly L, et al (2007) The Morgan Kaufmann series in interactive 3D technology. In: Game physics engine development. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, pp ii

  12. 12.

    Platt R, Permenter F, Pfeiffer J (2011) Using Bayesian filtering to localize flexible materials during manipulation. IEEE Trans Robot 27(3):586–598.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Shellshear E (2014) 1D sweep-and-prune self-collision detection for deforming cables. Vis Comput 30(5):553–564.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Zi B, Lin J, Qian S (2015) Localization, obstacle avoidance planning and control of a cooperative cable parallel robot for multiple mobile cranes. Robot Comput Integr Manuf 34:105–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Bakhy SH (2014) Modeling of contact pressure distribution and friction limit surfaces for soft fingers in robotic grasping. Robotica 32(07):1005–1015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Pop N, Vladareanu L, Popescu IN et al (2014) A numerical dynamic behaviour model for 3D contact problems with friction. Comput Mater Sci 94:285–291.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Papacharalampopoulos A, Stavropoulos P, Doukas C et al (2013) Acoustic emission signal through turning tools: a computational study. Procedia CIRP 8:426–431.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Fantoni G, Santochi M, Dini G et al (2014) Grasping devices and methods in automated production processes. CIRP Ann 63(2):679–701.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Bayada G, Chambat M, Lakhal A (1998) A dynamic contact problem with regularized friction law. Application to impact problems. Math Comput Model 28(4-8):67–85.

    MathSciNet  Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Stein GJ, Zahoranský R, Múčka P (2008) On dry friction modelling and simulation in kinematically excited oscillatory systems. J Sound Vib 311(1-2):74–96.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Papacharalampopoulos A, Stavropoulos P, Stavridis J, Chryssolouris G (2016) The effect of communications on networked monitoring and control of manufacturing processes. Procedia CIRP 41:723–728.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The work reported in this paper was partially supported the project X-act/FoF-ICT-314355, funded by the European Commission in the 7th Framework Programme.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Makris.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Papacharalampopoulos, A., Aivaliotis, P. & Makris, S. Simulating robotic manipulation of cabling and interaction with surroundings. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 96, 2183–2193 (2018).

Download citation


  • Flexible parts handling
  • Harness assembly
  • Dual arm
  • Cable shape prediction
  • Collision avoidance
  • Bodies contact
  • Assembly parts interaction
  • Simulation