Quadratic Lyapunov Functions for Mechanical Systems

The “mechanical systems” define a large and important class of highly nonlinear dynamical equations which, for example, encompasses all robots. In this report it is shown that a strict Lyapunov Function suggested by the simplest examplar of the class – a one degree of freedom linear time invariant dynamical system – may be generalized over the entire class. The report lists a number of standard but useful consequences of this discovery. The analysis suggests that the input-output properties of the entire class of nonlinear systems share many characteristics in common with those of a second order, phase canonical, linear time invariant differential equation.

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