A general framework is presented for the study of the properties of trajectories generated by lines embedded in rigid bodies undergoing multi-degrees-of-freedom motions. Several new concepts, such as a line’s angular and linear velocities and accelerations, are introduced and used to (1) characterize the differences between line trajectories generated by different mechanisms; (2) distinguish trajectories generated by different lines in the same rigid body; (3) distinguish properties at different positions in the same trajectory. Line trajectories are classified according to the number of degrees of freedom of the motion, and local and global properties are discussed. These techniques are illustrated in an example of a line trajectory generated by a two-degrees-of-freedom manipulator.

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