Date of Award

Summer 6-2021

Document Type

Thesis (Master's)


Department of Computer Science

First Advisor

Bo Zhu

Second Advisor

Lorie Loeb

Third Advisor

Xing-Dong Yang


Soft physical systems, be they elastic bodies, fluids, and compliant-bodied creatures, are ubiquitous in nature. Modeling and simulation of these systems with computer algorithms enable the creation of visually appealing animations, automated fabrication paradigms, and novel user interfaces and control mechanics to assist designers and engineers to develop new soft machines. This thesis develops computational methods to address the challenges emerged during the automation of the design, modeling, and control workflow supporting various soft dynamic systems. On the design/control side, we present a sketch-based design interface to enable non-expert users to design soft multicopters. Our system is endorsed by a data-driven algorithm to generate system identification and control policies given a novel shape prototype and rotor configurations. We show that our interactive system can automate the workflow of different soft multicopters' design, simulation, and control with human designers involved in the loop. On the modeling side, we study the physical behaviors of fluidic systems from a local, collective perspective. We develop a prior-embedded graph network to uncover the local constraint relations underpinning a collective dynamic system such as particle fluid. We also proposed a simulation algorithm to model vortex dynamics with locally interacting Lagrangian elements. We demonstrate the efficacy of the two systems by learning, simulating and visualizing complicated dynamics of incompressible fluid.

Original Citation

@article{deng2020soft, title={Soft Multicopter Control using Neural Dynamics Identification}, author={Deng, Yitong and Zhang, Yaorui and He, Xingzhe and Yang, Shuqi and Tong, Yunjin and Zhang, Michael and DiPietro, Daniel and Zhu, Bo}, journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.07689}, year={2020} }

@article{ xiong2021incompressible, title = {{Incompressible Flow Simulation on Vortex Segment Clouds}}, author = {Shiyin Xiong and Rui Tao and Yaorui Zhang and Fan Feng and Bo Zhu}, booktitle={Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation}, year = {2021} }