This paper questions whether the controller properties for a given rigid body mechanical system still apply as the given system is changed. As a first attempt in this investigation, the controller for the underactuated rotary pendulum is investigated as the system morphs into an underactuated inverted pendulum cart. As the limiting condition of the inverted pendulum cart is approached, the investigation allows the controller to also morph. The authors show that, as the pendulum base radius grows, the rotary pendulum equations of motion morph into the inverted pendulum cart dynamics. The paper presents necessary conditions for the successful morphing of the dynamic equations. The morphing process for the controller tests the idea whether the control law also satisfies the same continuum basis as the motion equations. The paper presents a framework for the class of controllers investigated for providing insight into when the controller morphing may be successful. This paper presents dimensionless quantities that render the equations of motion and controller for the inverted pendulum cart and rotary pendulum into dimensionless form. These dimensionless quantities allow comparison of controllers and systems that are not possible through simple inspection. This comparison ability is especially useful for quantifying the nonlinearities of a given system and controller compared to another system and controller having different parameter sizes, a comparison rarely seen in the control literature.

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