Mechanical structure underlies application areas in control such as robotics, satellite dynamics, vehicle locomotion, etc. As a class of problems, mechanical systems are inherently nonlinear, and very often linearisation techniques do not prove helpful in control problems. By focusing on the essential mathematical structure of such systems, it is possible to obtain satisfactory answers to some difficult questions concerning their nonlinear control characteristics. A survey of these results will be given, with simple examples illustrating the theory.

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