In this paper we present a novel dyad dimensional synthesis technique for approximate motion synthesis. The methodology utilizes an analytic representation of the dyad’s constraint manifold that is parameterized by its dimensional synthesis variables. Nonlinear optimization techniques are then employed to minimize the distance from the dyad’s constraint manifold to a finite number of desired locations of the workpiece. The result is an approximate motion dimensional synthesis technique that is applicable to planar, spherical, and spatial dyads. Here, we specifically address the planar RR, spherical RR and spatial CC dyads since these are often found in the kinematic structure of robotic systems and mechanisms. These dyads may be combined serially to form a complex open chain (e.g. a robot) or when connected back to the fixed link they may be joined so as to form one or more closed chains (e.g. a linkage, a parallel mechanism, or a platform). Finally, we present some initial numerical design case studies that demonstrate the utility of the synthesis technique.

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