This paper presents a unified geometric framework to input-output linearization of open-chain multi-body systems with symmetry in their reduced phase space. This leads us to an output tracking controller for a class of underactuated open-chain multi-body systems with holonomic and nonholonomic constraints. We consider the systems with multi-degree-of-freedom joints and possibly with non-zero constant total momentum (in the holonomic case). The examples of these systems are free-base space manipulators and mobile manipulators. We first formalize the control problem, and rigorously state an output tracking problem for such systems. Then, we introduce a geometrical definition of the end-effector pose and velocity error. The main contribution of this paper is reported in Section 5, where we solve for the input-output linearization of the highly nonlinear problem of coupled manipulator and base dynamics subject to holonomic and nonholonomic constraints. This enables us to design a coordinate-independent controller, similar to a proportional-derivative with feed-forward, for concurrently controlling a free-base, multi-body system. Finally, by defining a Lyapunov function, we prove in Theorem 3 that the closed-loop system is exponentially stable. A detailed case study concludes this paper.

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Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems

Chhabra, R, & Emami, M.R. (M. Reza). (2016). A Unified Approach to Input-output Linearization and Concurrent Control of Underactuated Open-chain Multi-body Systems with Holonomic and Nonholonomic Constraints. Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems, 22(1), 129–168. doi:10.1007/s10883-014-9266-z