The degree of freedom or overconstraint of plane kinematic chains is determined by means of an analysis of independent loops. It is shown how the independent loops of a system may be identified and how they may be used to recognize certain special cases which do not fit into the framework of so-called “general formulas.” The independent loops may also be used to systematically formulate the governing kinematic equations of a system. It is shown that the equations so formulated are in general sufficient to solve for all unknown velocities and accelerations.

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