The study presents a detailed discussion on the classification and solution space atlases for planar serial manipulators. Similar to closed-loop planar linkage with one prismatic joint, a planar manipulator is categorized into three classes with further several subclasses based on link lengths in terms of orientation capability. Furthermore, by introducing the non-dimensional length, an improved physical model of the solution space is proposed to display global performances of the manipulators which facilitates the design of the manipulator with global optimization. Examples are given to illustrate the method.

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