Conclusions

The SPENDULAP system is a valuable teaching tool for reinforcing several key concepts discussed in advanced undergraduate dynamics and control courses. The plant's motion is simple to visualize, but it presents interesting challenges in kinematics, dynamics, simulation, and control. In particular, the three-dimensional nature of the pendulum motion allows students to gain proficiency and confidence not possible with a planar apparatus. Additionally, nonlinearities in the dynamics present interesting, but tenable, control challenges. The material presented in this paper could be used as a class project or as a tutorial for students to go through a complete cycle of kinematic and dynamic modeling, control, simulation and animation of a multibody three-dimensional mechanical system.

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