Efficient Computation of Articulated-Body Inertias Using Successive Axial Screws
Orin, David E.
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The articulated-body (AB) algorithm for dynamic simulation of chains of rigid bodies was developed by Featherstone [l]. The most costly step in this algorithm is the computation of the AB inertias at each Link which involves a spatial (6 x 6) congruence transformation. The amount of computation required is closely coupled to the kinematic modeling technique used. This paper examines this computation in detail and presents an efficient step-by-step procedure for its evaluation in a serial chain with revolute and prismatic joints using modified Denavit- Hartenberg parameters for modeling the kinematics. The result is a very efficient procedure using successive axial screws that reduces the computational requirements of the AB algorithm by about 15% from results obtained by Brandl, Johanni, and Otter . The procedure developed defines a general approach and can be used to improve the efficiency of spatial congruence transformations of other types of matrices, such as spatial rigid-body inertias (used in the Composite Rigid- Body simulation algorithm.
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