Quasistatic mechanical systems, in which mass or acceleration are sufficiently small that the inertial term ma in F equals ma is negligible compared to dissipative forces, are discussed. It is pointed out that many instances of robotic manipulation can be well approximated as quasistatic systems, with the dissipative force being dry friction. Energetic formulations of Newton's laws have often been found useful in the solution of mechanics problems involving multiple constraints. A minimum power principle is outlined which states that a system chooses at every instant the lowest-energy, or 'easiest', motion in conformity with the constraints. Surprisingly, the principle is in general false. But it is proved that the principle is correct in the useful special case that Coulomb friction is the only dissipative or velocity-dependent force acting in the system.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Unknown Host Publication Title|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1988|
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