A flexible multi-body dynamics approach is described. It uses an equivalent rigid link system from which are measured small displacements. The equations of motion are obtained by direct application of the principle of virtual work. Some terms in the virtual and real components have been neglected by virtue of the small displacement assumption. The use of sensitivity coefficients allows one to obtain a formulation which can be easily interfaced with any kinematic solution algorithm. It also enables one to check the correctness of the chosen equivalent rigid link system. The theory is then employed to reproduce numerically the experimental recordings obtained from a flexible linkage. Agreement between experimental and numerical data is good.

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