The power dissipation method and kinematic reducibility of multiple-model robotic systems

Todd D. Murphey*, Joel W. Burdick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This paper develops a formal connection between the power dissipation method (PDM) and Lagrangian mechanics, with specific application to robotic systems. Such a connection is necessary for understanding how some of the successes in motion planning and stabilization for smooth kinematic robotic systems can be extended to systems with frictional interactions and overconstrained systems. We establish this connection using the idea of a multiple-model system, and then show that multiple-model systems arise naturally in a number of instances, including those arising in cases traditionally addressed using the PDM. We then give necessary and sufficient conditions for a dynamic multiple-model system to be reducible to a kinematic multiple-model system. We use this result to show that solutions to the PDM are actually kinematic reductions of solutions to the Euler-Lagrange equations. We are particularly motivated by mechanical systems undergoing multiple intermittent frictional contacts, such as distributed manipulators, overconstrained wheeled vehicles, and objects that are manipulated by grasping or pushing. Examples illustrate how these results can provide insight into the analysis and control of physical systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-710
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Contact modeling
  • Dynamics
  • Frictional contacts
  • Kinematic analysis
  • Modeling for control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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