The inverse kinematics of series-chain, six-degree-of-freedom manipulators has been developed to the point where it yields all possible configurations for a given end-effector position and orientation. In this paper we use the methods of inverse kinematics to uncover the conditions on the structural parameters which cause a manipulator to yield a lower maximum number of configurations than its general class. It is shown that the following conditions can cause a diminution in the maximum number of possible configurations: parallel joint axes, perpendicular joint axes, intersecting joint axes, and Bennett geometries. Using these geometries in 6R, 5R1P, 4R2P, and 3R3P chains, this paper determines the reduction in degree of their characteristic polynomials.

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