Nonlinear Control of Mechanical Systems: A Lagrangian Perspective

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Richard M. Murray
Annual Reviews in Control, v21, pp 31-45

Recent advances in geometric mechanics, motivated in large part by applications in control theory, have introduced new tools for understanding and utilizing the structure present in mechanical systems. In particular, the use of geometric methods for analyzing Lagrangian systems with both symmetries and non-integrable (or nonholonomic) constraints has led to a unified formulation of the dynamics that has important implications for a wide class of mechanical control systems. This paper presents a survey of recent results in this area, focusing on the relationships between geometric phases, controllability, and curvature, and the role of trajectory generation in nonlinear controller synthesis. Examples are drawn from robotics and flight control systems, with an emphasis on motion control problems.