A dynamic model for flexible manipulators with prismatic joints is presented in Part I of this study. Floating frames following a nominal rigid body motion are introduced to describe the kinematics of the flexible links. A Lagrangian approach is used in deriving the equations of motion. The work done by the rigid body axial force through the axial shortening of the link due to transverse deformations is included in the Lagrangian function. Kinematic constraint equations are used to describe the compatibility conditions associated with revolute joints and prismatic joints, and incorporated into the equations of motion by Lagrange multipliers. The small displacements due to the flexibility of the links are then discretized by a displacement based finite element method. Equations of motion are derived for the cases of prescribed rigid body motion as well as prescribed joint torques/forces through application of Lagrange’s equations. The equations of motion and the constraint equations result in a set of differential algebraic equations. A numerical procedure combining a constraint stabilization method and a Newmark direct integration scheme is then applied to obtain the system response. An example, previously treated in the literature, is presented to validate the modeling and solution methods used in this study.

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