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Rolling Manifolds: Intrinsic Formulation and Controllability

Abstract : In this paper, we consider two cases of rolling of one smooth connected complete Riemannian manifold $(M,g)$ onto another one $(\hM,\hg)$ of equal dimension $n\geq 2$. The rolling problem $(NS)$ corresponds to the situation where there is no relative spin (or twist) of one manifold with respect to the other one. As for the rolling problem $(R)$, there is no relative spin and also no relative slip. Since the manifolds are not assumed to be embedded into an Euclidean space, we provide an intrinsic description of the two constraints ''without spinning'' and ''without slipping'' in terms of the Levi-Civita connections $\nabla^{g}$ and $\nabla^{\hg}$. For that purpose, we recast the two rolling problems within the framework of geometric control and associate to each of them a distribution and a control system. We then investigate the relationships between the two control systems and we address for both of them the issue of complete controllability. For the rolling $(NS)$, the reachable set (from any point) can be described exactly in terms of the holonomy groups of $(M,g)$ and $(\hM,\hg)$ respectively, and thus we achieve a complete understanding of the controllability properties of the corresponding control system. As for the rolling $(R)$, the problem turns out to be more delicate. We first provide basic global properties for the reachable set and investigate the associated Lie bracket structure. In particular, we point out the role played by a curvature tensor defined on the state space, that we call the \emph{rolling curvature}. In the case where one of the manifolds is a space form (let say $(\hM,\hg)$), we show that it is enough to roll along loops of $(M,g)$ and the resulting orbits carry a structure of principal bundle which preserves the rolling $(R)$ distribution. In the zero curvature case, we deduce that the rolling $(R)$ is completely controllable if and only if the holonomy group of $(M,g)$ is equal to $SO(n)$. In the nonzero curvature case, we prove that the structure group of the principal bundle can be realized as the holonomy group of a connection on $TM\oplus \R$, that we call the rolling connection. We also show, in the case of positive (constant) curvature, that if the rolling connection is reducible, then $(M,g)$ admits, as Riemannian covering, the unit sphere with the metric induced from the Euclidean metric of $\R^{n+1}$. When the two manifolds are three-dimensional, we provide a complete local characterization of the reachable sets when the two manifolds are three-dimensional and, in particular, we identify necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of a non open orbit. Besides the trivial case where the manifolds $(M,g)$ and $(\hM,\hg)$ are (locally) isometric, we show that (local) non controllability occurs if and only if $(M,g)$ and $(\hM,\hg)$ are either warped products or contact manifolds with additional restrictions that we precisely describe. Finally, we extend the two types of rolling to the case where the manifolds have different dimensions.
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Contributor : Petri Kokkonen Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, May 13, 2011 - 10:59:40 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 3:49:34 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 2:52:26 AM


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  • HAL Id : hal-00535711, version 2
  • ARXIV : 1011.2925



Yacine Chitour, Petri Kokkonen. Rolling Manifolds: Intrinsic Formulation and Controllability. 2011. ⟨hal-00535711v2⟩



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