The kinematic structure of tendon-driven robotic mechanisms has been investigated with the aid of graph theory. The correspondence between the graph representation of the kinematic structure and the mechanism has been established. We have shown that the kinematic structure of tendon-driven kinematic chains is similar to that of epicyclic gear trains. We also have shown that, using the concept of fundamental circuits, the displacement equations of tendon-driven robotic mechanisms can be systematically derived from the kinematic structure. The theory has been demonstrated by the kinematic analysis of three articulated robotic devices.

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