A Geometric Approach to Energy Shaping
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In this thesis is initiated a more systematic geometric exploration of energy shaping. Most of the previous results have been dealt wih particular cases and neither the existence nor the space of solutions has been discussed with any degree of generality. The geometric theory of partial differential equations originated by Goldschmidt and Spencer in late 1960s is utilized to analyze the partial differential equations in energy shaping. The energy shaping partial differential equations are described as a fibered submanifold of a $ k $-jet bundle of a fibered manifold. By revealing the nature of kinetic energy shaping, similarities are noticed between the problem of kinetic energy shaping and some well-known problems in Riemannian geometry. In particular, there is a strong similarity between kinetic energy shaping and the problem of finding a metric connection initiated by Eisenhart and Veblen. We notice that the necessary conditions for the set of so-called $ \lambda $-equation restricted to the control distribution are related to the Ricci identity, similarly to the Eisenhart and Veblen metric connection problem. Finally, the set of $ \lambda $-equations for kinetic energy shaping are coupled with the integrability results of potential energy shaping. The procedure shows how a poor design of closed-loop metric can make it impossible to achieve any flexibility in the character of the possible closed-loop potential function. The integrability results of this thesis have been used to answer some interesting questions about the energy shaping. In particular, a geometric proof is provided which shows that linear controllability is sufficient for energy shaping of linear simple mechanical systems. Furthermore, it is shown that all linearly controllable mechanical control systems with one degree of underactuation can be stabilized using energy shaping feedback. The result is geometric and completely characterizes the energy shaping problem for these systems. Using the geometric approach of this thesis, some new open problems in energy shaping are formulated. In particular, we give ideas for relating the kinetic energy shaping problem to a problem on holonomy groups. Moreover, we suggest that the so-called Fakras lemma might be used for investigating the stabilization condition of energy shaping.