In a series of papers, Chang et al. proved and experimentally demonstrated a phenomenon in underactuated mechanical systems, that they termed “damping-induced self-recovery.” This paper further investigates a few features observed in these demonstrated experiments and provides additional theoretical interpretation for the same. In particular, we present a model for the infinite-dimensional fluid–stool–wheel system, that approximates its dynamics to that of the better understood finite dimensional case, and comment on the effect of the intervening fluid on the large amplitude oscillations observed in the bicycle wheel–stool experiment.

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