Book Review

Dynamics: Theory and Application of Kane's Method PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
C. M. Roithmayr, D. H. Hodges

Cambridge University Press, 2016.
ISBN: 9-78-1107005693

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 11(6), 066501 (Sep 28, 2016) (1 page) Paper No: CND-16-1420; doi: 10.1115/1.4034731 History: Received September 05, 2016; Revised September 09, 2016

REVIEWED BY OLIVIER A. BAUCHAU, Igor Sikorsky Professor of Rotorcraft, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742.

Kane's method is a well-established approach to the formulation of the equations of motions of complex multibody mechanical systems. This method is systematic and clearly presented in the now famous book, Dynamics: Theory and Applications, by Kane and Levinson [1]. The present book, Dynamics: Theory and Application of Kane's Method, borrows material mostly from the original book of Kane and Levinson [1] and to a lesser extent, from the book, Spacecraft Dynamics, by Kane et al. [2]. New material and minor revisions contributed by Roithmayr and Hodges are distributed throughout the text. The book is a timely and welcome update of the work of Kane and Levinson, provides coverage of a broader class of problems, and presents recent advances in the field.

The book's layout follows closely that of the original work of Kane and Levinson. Special emphasis is given to the topic of constraints because classical approaches and Kane's method treat this topic differently. Furthermore, the treatment of motion constraints has been expanded to focus on the forces and torques required to enforce such constraints exactly. The chapter dealing with the extraction of information from the equation of motion has also been augmented to include the checking function, which can be constructed even when an energy integral does not exist. The material presented in the last chapter, which deals with the manipulation of finite rotation, is largely drawn from the book Spacecraft Dynamics [2] with the exception of the first two sections that present the Wiener–Milenković parameters.

This book covers material presented in graduate-level courses in physics or mechanical and aerospace engineering. A typical course could be either a first-year graduate course in dynamics or a follow-up course, if the first-year introductory course is based on the classical treatment of dynamics. The coverage focuses on rigid multibody systems, such as spacecraft, robotic manipulators, or articulated mechanisms. From the onset of the presentation, a specific notation is introduced that emphasizes frames of reference, regarded as massless rigid bodies. Constraints are introduced early on: both holonomic and nonholonomic constraints are treated in a unified manner. Rather than enforcing constraints via the classical Lagrange multiplier technique, Kane's equations are used as the basis of the formulation.

The book addresses the relevant topics in a sequential manner. After a review of basic calculus techniques in the first chapter, the kinematics of rigid bodies is presented, followed by the discussion of configuration and motion constraints. Mass distribution and generalized forces are presented next. Constraint forces and torques are discussed in an independent chapter. After a discussion of energy functions, the derivation of the equations of motion is presented, and the procedures for extracting information from these equations of motion are developed. The final chapter of the book is devoted to the representation of finite rotation.

Over one-quarter of the book is devoted to problem sets. Each group of problems refers to a specific section of the book. The difficulty of the problems is well graded, from the simplest to the more complex. While some of the problems are a direct application of the theory, many others contain additional useful information. Detailed suggestions are often provided to guide the student through the solution of sometimes challenging problems. Final results are always provided and their significance is often outlined.

Dynamics: Theory and Application of Kane's Method is a timely update of the now classical book by Kane and Levinson by two authors, collectively with many decades of experience stretching across academia and government laboratories. While providing coverage of a broader class of problems and of recent advances in the field, the rigor and clarity of the original text is retained. This new book will be welcomed by many working on dynamics and control of complex mechanical and aerospace multibody systems.


Kane, T. R. , and Levinson, D. A. , 1985, Dynamics: Theory and Applications, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
Kane, T. R. , Likins, P. W. , and Levinson, D. A. , 1981, Spacecraft Dynamics, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
Copyright © 2016 by ASME
View article in PDF format.


Kane, T. R. , and Levinson, D. A. , 1985, Dynamics: Theory and Applications, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
Kane, T. R. , Likins, P. W. , and Levinson, D. A. , 1981, Spacecraft Dynamics, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In