A methodology based on kinematic structure concepts is described in this paper for development of mechanical hands which can manipulate objects in a controlled fashion. Although articulated mechanical hands were considered, emphasis was placed on nonanthropomorphic novel concepts (reference [19]) with decoupled output motions. Appropriate classes of objects can be manipulated in five degrees of freedom—three translations and two rotations. This emphasis on designs with decoupled degrees of freedom has resulted in a controllable hand design with maximum manipulative capabilities. Since the motions are decoupled, they can be chosen as to obtain any subset of desired motions. Kinematics and dynamics of these mechanical hands can be studied [33] by homogeneous transformation matrices (4×4), methods similar to those employed for robot arm kinematics and dynamics, thus, unifying methods of analysis and simplifying the arm–hand interface.

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