Problems of optimal kinematic synthesis of mechanisms and machines are formulated in a state space setting that allows for treatment of large scale systems with general design objectives and constraints. An iterative kinematic analysis method is presented. An adjoint variable method of design sensitivity analysis is presented that uses the same matrices generated in kinematic analysis to efficiently calculate derivatives of cost and constraint functions with respect to design. A gradient projection optimization algorithm is presented, based on the state space kinematic and design sensitivity analysis formulation. Two mechanism synthesis problems are solved to illustrate the method and to evaluate its effectiveness.

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