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The aim of this paper is to contribute to the rapprochement of two important autonomous domains of research: robot manipulator dynamics and earthquake engineering. The application of some methodologies of modeling, identification and control, related to robot manipulator problems, can be applied to the solution of earthquake engineering problems (e.g., health monitoring and tailoring of oscillating behavior). A common language between both domains of research is necessary, and this common language must include specific classes of models. We present then a comparison between mathematical models of robot manipulators (open kinematic chains) in lagrangian generalized coordinates and those commonly used in structural dynamics for low and mid-rise shear buildings. Four different models are presented, two corresponding to robot manipulators, with rigid arms and helicoidal springs and dampers at the ends of the arms, and two models corresponding to buildings with flexible columns and rigid beams and diaphragms with small lateral displacements. The comparison results propose the use of a robot manipulator model with the helicoidal spring and damper on top of the mass for each arm, simulating with good accuracy, the behavior observed in the shear building models.