The dynamical formalism for systems of interconnected rigid bodies developed in the previous lectures can be applied to mechanical problems of very different nature. When it was first developed in 1965 its authors had in mind an application to spacecraft. Some details of the mathematics in this case and a typical result will be shown after this introduction. Another filed for applications is found in the study of mechanisms. One aspect will be described as well in this lecture. There are also systems which can be called living mechanisms. The human body, as well as any other animal body, is a system with tree-structure made up of interconnected bodies which in many cases can be considered approximately rigid. It is interesting to note that in 1905 a German mathematician called Fischer investigated the dynamics of the human body . He discovered the augmented-body concept and some other important relationships. Due to an unfortunate choice of variables, however, he did not arrive at a convenient form for the equations of motion. He considered the problem: Given the motion of the human body as a function of time, i.e. the angular positions, velocities and accelerations of its parts, what are the muscle forces as functions of time necessary to produce this motion?
KeywordsReaction Pulse Gravitational Torque German Mathematician Flexible Spacecraft Orbital Coordinate System
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