Parallel Dynamics Computation Using Prefix Sum Operations

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number7847363
Pages (from-to)1296-1303
Journal / PublicationIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
Online published8 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


A new parallel framework for fast computation of inverse and forward dynamics of articulated robots based on prefix sums (scans) is proposed. We first re-investigate the well-known recursive Newton-Euler formulation for robot dynamics and show that the forward-backward propagation process for robot inverse dynamics is equivalent to two scan operations on certain semigroups. Then, we showed that state-of-the-art forward dynamic algorithms can also be cast into a sequence of scan operations almost completely, with unscannable parts clearly identified. This suggests a serial-parallel hybrid approach for systems with a moderate number of links. We implement our scan-based algorithms on Nvidia CUDA platform with performance compared with multithreading CPU-based recursive algorithms; a computational acceleration is demonstrated.

Research Area(s)

  • Direct/inverse dynamics formulation, prefix-sum operations, GPGPU