Humans and humanoid robots are often modeled with different types of inverted pendulum models in order to simplify the dynamic analysis of gait, balance and fall. We have earlier introduced the Reaction Mass Pendulum (RMP), an extension of the traditional inverted pendulum models, which explicitly captures the variable rotational inertia and angular momentum of the human or humanoid. In this paper we present a thorough analysis of the RMP, which is treated as a 3D multibody system in its own right. We derive the complete kinematics and dynamics equations of the RMP system and obtain its equilibrium conditions. Next we present a nonlinear control scheme that stabilizes this underactuated system about an unstable set with a vertically upright configuration for the “leg” of the RMP. Finally we demonstrate the effectiveness of this controller in simulation.

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