This paper uses the exponential defined on a Clifford algebra of planar projective space to show that the “standard-form” design equations used for planar linkage synthesis are obtained directly from the relative kinematics equations of the chain. The relative kinematics equations of a serial chain appear in the matrix exponential formulation of the kinematics equations for a robot. We show that formulating these same equations using a Clifford algebra yields design equations that include the joint variables in a way that is convenient for algebraic manipulation. The result is a single formulation that yields the design equations for planar 2R dyads, 3R triads, and nR single degree-of-freedom coupled serial chains and facilitates the algebraic solution of these equations including the inverse kinematics of the chain. These results link the basic equations of planar linkage design to standard techniques in robotics.

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