The study reported in this paper deals with the development of a generalized computer-based methodology for the form synthesis and optimal design of robot manipulators. The developed computer program to implement the methodology operates in two separate modes. The first deals with the synthesis of user defined topologies and in the second mode, the designer provides only the required task, then the program will generate optimum manipulator configuration by systematic evaluation and ranking of plausible alternatives. The methodology simultaneously incorporates kinematic and dynamic synthesis as well as optimal actuation and stress analysis in an integrated design process. The procedure relies on the systematic composition of manipulator configurations from tabulated basic elements. The optimization strategy for synthesis and control utilizes a dynamic programming approach which makes it possible to select the optimum parameters in a stage-wise manner without sacrificing the interactions inherent in such highly coupled nonlinear systems.

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