In reference to this statement “This is a discrete event that happens quickly. From a computational standpoint, that’s one of the things we really struggle with — how do we handle these contact events?”
We (Transducer Techniques, LLC) have been listed as one of your resources but now I can't find the page. In the past, we offered assistance with the products we manufacture, Load Cells and Force sensors to measure the force and pressure of each movement. We will certainly offer load cells or force measurement devices for your projects.