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2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation
of rotation matrices:
Geometric derivation
and Rodrigues identity
2006 Gerhard Besold
nxr

r_| r|| r_|


nxr r_| sin
r_| r
r|| r_|
r_| n
r r r_| cos

n
esz

esy

s
ex
N skew(n) :
Nij := ijk nk
n x r = Nr
Axis-angle
representation
of the rotation matrix:
Geometric derivation
2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation of the rotation matrix: Definition:


Matrix exponential and Rodrigues identity r(S) = A r(B)
Superscripts:
S: space frame,
1st-order differential equation for the orientation matrix A B: body frame

of a rotating rigid body:


with instantaneous angular velocity matrix /
/ angular velocity vector (in the space frame) :
= skew() = skew( n) = skew(n) = N
( = || and n = / is the unit vector of the rotation axis)

Consider special case: Rotation with = const. = const.

Solution:

with rotation matrix written as matrix exponential:

With axis-angle representation as obtained by geometric derivation:

Rodrigues identity
2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation of the rotation matrix:


Matrix exponential and Rodrigues identity

Direct proof of Rodrigues identity


without the detour via the geometric derivation? Yes !
Definition of the matrix exponential:
For any real 3x3 matrix B the matrix exponential eB
is defined via the convergent (Taylor ) series

Sequence of powers of N is periodic :

Analytic summation of the Taylor series of e N :


Infinite series in N reduces to 2nd-order polynomial in N with three coefficients
of which two are each a well-known ordinary Taylor series in :

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2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation of the rotation matrix:


Calculation of the rotation matrix when axis & angle are given

Straight-forward application of the axis-angle representation formula!

Example: Rotation around z-axis by angle


Equations:

Calculation:

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2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation of the rotation matrix:


Determination of axis & angle from a given rotation matrix

Determination of angle :
2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation of the rotation matrix:


Determination of axis & angle from a given rotation matrix

Determination of axis unit vector n : several cases


=0 (cos = 1) : Trivial case no rotation at all (undefined n)

0< < (1 > cos > 1) :


2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation of the rotation matrix:


Determination of axis & angle from a given rotation matrix

Determination of axis unit vector n : (contd)


= (cos = 1) :
2006 Gerhard Besold

Axis-angle representation of the rotation matrix:


Determination of axis & angle from a given rotation matrix

= (cos = 1) : (contd)

Cases: [For = : n only defined up to sign n is also solution]

All three Bij > 0

Single Bij > 0


& two Bij < 0

Two Bij = 0
( single Bii = 0)

All three Bij = 0


( two Bii = 0)