Rigid Body Kinematics

  • Pål Johan From
  • Jan Tommy Gravdahl
  • Kristin Ytterstad Pettersen
Part of the Advances in Industrial Control book series (AIC)


Rigid body kinematics is the study of the displacement, velocity, and acceleration of a rigid body with respect to a reference. We introduce the notion of reference frames and associate each reference frame with a rigid body. We thus achieve a mathematical framework for describing how rigid bodies move with respect to each other and with respect to the inertial reference frame.

Single rigid body motion serves as the basis for multibody motion. In addition to describe the configuration and motion space of vehicles and mobile robots, single rigid body kinematics is also the basis of robotics, i.e., multibody motion with additional kinematic constraints imposed on the motion space. Based on the concepts introduced in Chap.  1, the location, velocity, and acceleration of single rigid bodies are described in terms of well-defined mathematical entities. This chapter thus serves as an introduction to rigid body modeling as a part of an introductory robotics course.


Rigid Body Configuration Space Rotation Matrix Euler Angle Inertial Frame 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pål Johan From
    • 1
  • Jan Tommy Gravdahl
    • 2
  • Kristin Ytterstad Pettersen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical Sciences and TechnologyNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway
  2. 2.Department of Engineering CyberneticsNorwegian Univ. of Science & TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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