The motion planning problem of a nonholonomic multibody system is investigated. Nonholonomicity arises in many mechanical systems subject to nonintegrable velocity constraints or nonintegrable conservation laws. When the total angular momentum is zero, the control problem of system can be converted to the motion planning problem for a driftless control system. In this paper, we propose an optimal control approach for nonholonomic motion planning. The genetic algorithm is used to optimize the performance of motion planning to connect the initial and final configurations and to generate a feasible trajectory for a nonholonomic system. The feasible trajectory and its control inputs are searched through a genetic algorithm. The effectiveness of the genetic algorithm is demonstrated by numerical simulation.

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