Binary actuators have only two discrete states (denoted “0” and “1”), both of which are stable without feedback. As a result, binary mechanisms and manipulators have a finite number of states. Major benefits of binary actuation are that extensive feedback control is not required, task repeatability can be very high, and two-state actuators are generally very inexpensive (e.g., solenoids, pneumatic cylinders, etc.), thus resulting in low cost robotic mechanisms. This paper develops algorithms for the optimal synthesis of binary manipulators and mechanisms for discrete tasks such as pick-and-place operations.

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