Moving constraints as stabilizing controls in classical mechanics

Alberto Bressan, Franco Rampazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The paper analyzes a Lagrangian system which is controlled by directly assigning some of the coordinates as functions of time, by means of frictionless constraints. In a natural system of coordinates, the equations of motion contain terms which are linear or quadratic with respect to time derivatives of the control functions. After reviewing the basic equations, we explain the significance of the quadratic terms related to geodesics orthogonal to a given foliation. We then study the problem of stabilization of the system to a given point by means of oscillating controls. This problem is first reduced to theweak stability for a related convex-valued differential inclusion, then studied by Lyapunov functions methods. In the last sections, we illustrate the results by means of various mechanical examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-141
Number of pages45
JournalArchive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analysis
  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Moving constraints as stabilizing controls in classical mechanics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this