Screw Theory for Robotics

Applications of the theory of screws are based on the combined representation of angular and linear velocity, or similarly force and moment, as a single element of a six-dimensional vector space. The importance of screw theory in robotics is widely recognised, in principle. In practice, almost nowhere is it taught to engineering students and few know how to use it. Yet, in a variety of areas of robotics, methods and formalisms based on the geometry and algebra of screws have shown to be superior to other techniques and have led to significant advances. These include the development of fast and efficient dynamics algorithms, discoveries in the nature of robot compliance and mechanism singularity, and the invention of numerous parallel mechanisms.

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