Parallel Dynamics Computation using Prefix Sum Operations

Yajue Yang, Yuanqing Wu, Jia Pan
Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, the City University of Hong Kong
arXiv:1609.04493 [cs.RO], (15 Sep 2016)


   title={Parallel Dynamics Computation using Prefix Sum Operations},

   author={Yang, Yajue and Wu, Yuanqing and Pan, Jia},






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We propose a new parallel framework for fast computation of inverse and forward dynamics of articulated robots based on prefix sums (scans). We re-investigate the well-known recursive Newton-Euler formulation of robot dynamics and show that the forward-backward propagation process for robot inverse dynamics is equivalent to two scan operations on certain semigroups. We show that the state-of-the-art forward dynamics algorithms may almost completely be cast into a sequence of scan operations, 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 significant level of acceleration is demonstrated.
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