Spatial Vectors and Rigid-Body Dynamics

Spatial vectors are 6D vectors that simplify the task of describing, analysing, and calculating rigid-body dynamics.  This page contains materials to help you learn about spatial vectors, software to help you perform dynamics calculations, and links to relevant materials elsewhere.

Materials for the Spatial Vectors Courses at IIT, March 2019

Introduction to Spatial (6D) Vectors Computational Robot Dynamics In both courses, you will be expected to take notes and solve problems during the classes, so remember to bring pen/pencil and paper with you; and you should also bring either a printed copy of the course notes or a laptop/tablet/etc. for reading the notes in electronic form.  For Computational Robot Dynamics only, you will be asked to write and execute some small Matlab (or Octave) functions during class; so you should try very hard to bring a laptop with you.

A Short Course on Spatial Vector Algebra

This is an introductory course (written in 2008) that takes approximately one or two days.  The materials below are (believed to be) suitable for self study.

A Tutorial for Beginners

Some Books and Papers

More Stuff on Spatial Vectors

Software Package Spatial

This Matlab software package implements most of the algorithms in Rigid Body Dynamics Algorithms.  Version 1 reportedly also works on
GNU Octave (version 3.0.2).  Version 2 includes several tutorial examples using Simulink, more extensive documentation, and greatly improved graphics.

Other Software


Last modified:  March 2019
Author:  Roy Featherstone