The field of computational dynamics is surveyed, focusing on issues relevant to the construction of a general purpose simulator with haptic display. The various formalisms available for generating dynamical models will be examined with regard to the form of the equations of motion which they produce. To render the effects of intermittent contact and other transient phenomena as driven by a human haptic explorer, a model is needed which is computationally efficient yet can handle changing kinematic constraints neatly. Models in dependent and independent coordinates produced with the Newton-Euler, Lagrangian and Kane formalisms will each be examined in order to provide a vantage point from which an informed selection may be made from among the many tools now available in computational dynamics.

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