This paper deals with the synthesis of the mechanical power transmission structure in tendon-driven manipulators. Based on the analysis of static force transmission from the actuator space to the end-effector space, a general theory is developed for the synthesis of tendon-driven manipulators with isotropic transmission characteristics. It is shown that an n-dof (degree of freedom) manipulator can possess these characteristics if it is made up of n+1 or 2n tendons and if its link lengths and pulley sizes are designed according to two equations of constraint. Two examples are used to demonstrate the theory. It is also shown that manipulators with an isotropic transmission structure do have more uniform force distribution among their tendons.

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