The paper focuses on design, dynamical simulation, operation and performance evaluation of a variable geometry manipulator. The system is composed of a mobile base supporting two modules connected in a chain topology. Each module consists of two links: one free to slew while the other is permitted to deploy. The governing equations of motion for the planar dynamics of the manipulator system are obtained using the Lagrangian procedure. Results indicate that the coupling effects together with the flexibility at the revolute joints have significant impact on the manipulator’s performance. Obviously, this will affect the desired trajectory tracking by the end-effector, suggesting a need for a suitable control algorithm. This is achieved through the classical Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) control strategy. The numerically predicted results are compared with the prototype performance. The remarkable agreement tends to substantiate integrity of the prototype design and effective implementation of the controller.

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