A study of the kinematic characteristics of a three degree-of-freedom (dof) parallel mechanism is presented. The architecture of the mechanism is comprised of a mobile platform attached to a base through three identical prismatic-revolute-spherical jointed serial linkages. The prismatic joints are considered to be actuated. These prismatic actuators lie on a common plane and have radial directions of action. The mechanism’s inverse displacement solution is obtained. Since the mechanism has only 3 dof, constraint equations describing the inter-relationship between the six motion coordinates are derived. These constraints allow the definition of parasitic motions, i.e., motions in the three unspecified motion coordinates. Architecture optimization of the device is undertaken demonstrating that specific values of design variables allow minimization of parasitic motion. [S1050-0472(00)00101-X]

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