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Collision detection facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Collision detection typically refers to the computational problem of detecting the intersection of two or more objects. While the topic is most often associated with its use in video games and other physical simulations, it also has applications in robotics.

In addition to determining whether two objects have collided, collision detection systems may also calculate time of impact (TOI), and report a contact manifold (the set of intersecting points). Collision response deals with simulating what happens when a collision is detected. Solving collision detection problems requires extensive use of concepts from linear algebra and computational geometry.

It is also called CD (for collision detection) or interference detection.


Billiards balls
Billiards balls hitting each other are a classic example applicable within the science of collision detection.

In physical simulation, we wish to conduct experiments, such as playing billiards. The physics of bouncing billiard balls are well understood, under the umbrella of rigid body motion and elastic collisions.

Video games have similar requirements, with some crucial differences. While physical simulation needs to simulate real-world physics as precisely as possible, video games need to simulate real-world physics in an acceptable way, in real time and robustly. Compromises are allowed, so long as the resulting simulation is satisfying to the game players.

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