Departmental Papers (ESE)


A new class of control algorithms—the “mirror algorithms”— gives rise to experimentally observed juggling and catching behavior in a planar robotic mechanism. The simplest of these algorithms (on which all the others are founded) is provably correct with respect to a simplified model of the robot and its environment. This article briefly reviews the physical setup and underlying mathematical theory. It discusses two significant extensions of the fundamental algorithm to juggling two objects and catching. We provide data from successful empirical verifi cations of these control strategies and briefly speculate on the larger implications for the field of robotics.

For more information: Kod*Lab

Document Type

Journal Article

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version


Publication Source

International Journal of Robotics Research





Start Page


Last Page





“The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, International Journal of Robotics Research, 13/12, 1994, © SAGE Publications, Inc. or Society/Proprietor, 1994 by SAGE Publications, Inc. at the International Journal of Robotics Research page: on SAGE Journals Online:

NOTE: At the time of publication, author Daniel Koditschek was affiliated with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Currently, he is a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bib Tex

@article{buehler-ijrr-1994, author = {M. Buehler and D. E. Koditschek and P. J. Kindlmann}, title = {Planning and Control of Robotic Juggling and Catching Tasks}, journal = {International Journal of Robotics Research}, year = {1994}, month = {April}, volume = {13}, number = {12}, pages = {101-118}, doi = {10.1177/027836499401300201} }



Date Posted: 29 September 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.