A general symbolic-based method is presented for solving equations of motion for open-loop kinematic chains consisting of interconnected rigid and deformable bodies. The method utilizes matrix partitioning, recursive projection based on optimal block U-L factorization and generalized Newton-Euler equations to obtain an order n solution for the constrained equations of motion. Kinematic relationships between the absolute reference, joint and elastic coordinates are used with the generalized Newton-Euler equations for deformable bodies to obtain a large, loosely coupled system of equations. Taking advantage of the inertia matrix structure associated with elastic coordinates yields a recursive solution algorithm whose dimension is independent of the elastic degrees of freedom. The above solution techniques applied to this system of equations yield a much smaller operations count and can more effectively exploit vectorization and parallel processing. The algorithms presented in this paper are illustrated with the aid of cylindrical joints which are easily extended to revolute, prismatic, rigid and other joint types.

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