This paper presents a series of experimental results obtained with a 2-DOF flexible-link direct-drive manipulator. First, we conduct a frequency analysis by comparing experimental natural frequencies with those predicted by the finite element model. Then, the time responses from four dynamics models are compared with each other and with the experiment. It is demonstrated that higher order nonlinearities are less important for slow maneuvers by close agreement between all four simulation models. For fast maneuvers, the two simpler models fail to predict a physically meaningful response. Good agreement with experimental results is attained with a model which accounts for all inertial nonlinearities. It is also shown that inclusion of damping in the dynamics models has a significant impact on their performance, as well as improving the correlation with experimental data.

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