A new automated procedure for obtaining and solving the governing equations of motion of constrained multibody systems is presented. The procedure is applicable when the constraints are either (a) geometrical (for example, “closed-loops”) or (b) kinematical (for example, specified motion). The procedure is based on a “zero eigenvalues theorem,” which provides an “orthogonal complement” array which in turn is used to contract the dynamical equations. This contraction, together with the constraint equations, forms a consistent set of governing equations. An advantage of this formulation is that constraining forces are automatically eliminated from the analysis. The method is applied with Kane’s equations—an especially convenient set of dynamical equations for multibody systems. Examples of a constrained hanging chain and a chain whose end has a prescribed motion are presented. Applications in robotics, cable dynamics, and biomechanics are suggested.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.