IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol.45, No.9, 1586-1599, 2000
Rolling bodies with regular surface: Controllability theory and applications
Pairs of bodies with regular rigid surfaces rolling onto each other in space form a nonholonomic system of a rather general type, posing several interesting control problems of which not much is known. The nonholonomy of such systems can be exploited in practical devices, which is very useful in robotic applications. In order to achieve all potential benefits, a deeper understanding of these types of systems and more practical algorithms for planning and controlling their motions are necessary. In this paper, we study the controllability aspect of this problem, giving a complete description of the reachable manifold for general pairs of bodies, and a constructive controllability algorithm for planning rolling motions for dexterous robot hands.