This paper presents an algorithm for the optimization of the workspace of planar manipulators. The objective is to be able to synthesize manipulators whose workspace is as close as possible of being equal to a prescribed working area. The procedure begins with a geometric description of both the desired and the actual workspaces. Methods of computing the intersection of these regions are then developed. Finally, the optimization aims at minimizing the area of the regions contained in one of the workspaces—prescribed or actual—but not in the other. Results obtained with serial and parallel planar manipulators are shown and the possibility of extending the method to spatial cases is considered.

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