This paper presents a general and systematic approach for geometric error modeling of lower mobility manipulators. The approach can be implemented in three steps: (1) development of a linear map between the pose error twist and source errors within an individual limb using the homogeneous transformation matrix method; (2) formulation of a linear map between the pose error twist and the joint error intensities of a lower mobility parallel manipulator; and (3) combination of these two models. The merit of this approach lies in that it enables the source errors affecting the compensatable and uncompensatable pose accuracy of the platform to be explicitly separated, thereby providing designers and/or field engineers with an informative guideline for the accuracy improvement achievable by suitable measures, i.e., component tolerancing in design, manufacturing and assembly processes, and kinematic calibration. Three typical and well-known parallel manipulators are taken as examples to illustrate the generality and effectiveness of this approach.

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