A fast and accurate method for detecting the collisions of convex polyhedra in a graphical simulation environment based on a newly developed method of distance estimate is presented. By the simultaneous use of the enclosing and the
enclosed ellipsoids of convex polyhedra, potential collisions can be detected more accurate than those methods using only bounding volume for object representation, and more efficient than the polyhedral methods. An approach for computing the enclosed ellipsoid of a convex polyhedron by compressing, stretching and scaling operations on its best-fit enclosing
ellipsoid is introduced. Graphical simulations of two case studies (moving polyhedral objects in three-dimensional space and multiple robot arms undergoing straight line motions) are conducted to demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed algorithm for collision detection.