Due to changes in the kinematic constraints, many mechanical systems are described by discontinuous equations of motion. This paper addresses those changes in the kinematic constraints which are caused by planar bodies contacting and separating. A strategy to automatically predict and detect the kinematic constraint changes, which are functions of the system dynamics, is presented in Part 1. The strategy employs the concepts of point to line contact kinematic constraints, force closure, and ray firing together with the information provided by the rigid bodies’ boundary descriptions, state variables, and reaction forces to characterize the kinematic constraint changes. Since the strategy automatically predicts and detects constraint changes, it is capable of simulating mechanical systems with unpredictable or unforessen changes in topology. Part 2 presents the implementation of the characterizations into a simulation strategy and presents examples.

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