In the last twenty years, researchers have proposed a few different methods to establish a norm (or, metric) for both planar and spatial rigid body displacements. Desire to meaningfully quantify a displacement composed of rotation and translation stems from a requirement to ascertain “distance” between two given displacements in applications, such as motion approximation and interpolation, mechanism synthesis, collision avoidance, positioning, and robot calibration and control. In this paper, we show that the various seemingly different shape independent norm calculation methods based on approximating displacements with higher dimensional rotations via orthogonal matrices, or polar decomposition (PD) and singular value decomposition (SVD) can be reconciled and unified in the mathematically compact and elegant framework of biquaternions. In the process, we also propose an elegant and fast method for such norm calculations.

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