Multibody System Dynamics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 73–102 | Cite as

Task-level approaches for the control of constrained multibody systems

  • Vincent De Sapio
  • Oussama Khatib
  • Scott Delp


This paper presents a task-level control methodology for the general class of holonomically constrained multibody systems. As a point of departure, the general formulation of constrained dynamical systems is reviewed with respect to multiplier and minimization approaches. Subsequently, the operational space framework is considered and the underlying symmetry between constrained dynamics and operational space control is discussed. Motivated by this symmetry, approaches for constrained task-level control are presented which cast the general formulation of constrained multibody systems into a task space setting using the operational space framework. This provides a means of exploiting task-level control structures, native to operational space control, within the context of constrained systems. This allows us to naturally synthesize dynamic compensation for a multibody system, that properly accounts for the system constraints while performing a control task. A set of examples illustrate this control implementation. Additionally, the inclusion of flexible bodies in this approach is addressed.


Task-level control Constrained multibody dynamics Operational space Null space Flexible/rigid multibody system 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Computer Science DepartmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering & Bioengineering DepartmentsStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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