This paper presents the explicit mapping relations between topological structure of mechanism and position and orientation characteristic (abbreviated as POC hereafter) of its motion output link. It deals with: (1) The symbolic representation and the invariant of topological structure of mechanism; (2) The matrix representation of POC of mechanism motion output; (3) The POC equation of serial mechanism and its symbolic operation rules. The symbolic operation involves simple mathematic tools and fewer operation rules, and has clear geometrical meaning. So it is easy to use. The POC equation can be used for structural analysis and synthesis of serial and parallel mechanisms. The method proposed in this paper is totally different from the methods based on screw theory and based on displacement subgroup/sub-manifold.

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