This paper presents a parameter optimization technique for deciding the force distribution on a payload being transported along a predetermined trajectory using two planar manipulator arms. The methodology begins by transforming the singular dynamics of two-arm transport to an ordinary set of differential equations and then proceeds to obtain a relation between the torques exerted by each arm. This relation is then used in a quadratic torque cost which is subsequently minimized to yield an optimal torque distribution. Significant savings in energy were found to occur when the arms were allowed to interact by transmission of forces through the payload. Even more significant are the savings found over one-arm transport of payloads where the arm torques are fixed by the prescribed trajectory.

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