I'm new to the field of robotics, so this is a pretty basic question:
I'm assigned with the task of constructing a linear state space model of a 6DOF robotic arm that moves in 3D space. I believe the goal is to transform the original nonlinear problem to a piecewise linear problem for the purpose of designing a controller based on gain scheduling for example, and thus making use of the powerful linear control techniques and design tools.
I'm in the process of linearizing the dynamics using the small disturbance theory, but it is a lengthy, time-consuming process that I feel is not very practical considering the alternatives.
My question is: Is this a common practice in robotics? If not, is it practical and has it ever been done before, or should I consider an alternative approach?