A two-degree-of-freedom differential system has been known for a long time and is widely used in automotive drive systems. Although higher degree-of-freedom differential systems have been developed in the past based on the well-known standard differential, the number of degrees-of-freedom has been severely restricted to 2n. Using a standard differential mechanism and simple epicyclic gear trains as differential building blocks, we have developed novel whiffletree-like differential systems that can provide n-degrees of freedom, where n is any integer greater than two. Symbolic notation for representing these novel differentials is also presented. This paper presents a systematic method of deriving multi-degree-of-freedom differential systems, a three and a four output differential systems and their applications including all-wheel drive vehicles, universal robotic grippers and multi-spindle nut runners.

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