Singularity analysis is one of the most important issues in the field of parallel manipulators. An approach for singularity analysis should be able to not only identify all possible singularities but also explain their physical meanings. Since a parallel manipulator is always out of control at a singularity and its neighborhood, it should work far from singular configurations. However, how to measure the closeness between a pose and a singular configuration is still a challenging problem. This paper presents a new approach for singularity analysis of parallel manipulators by taking into account motion/force transmissibility. Several performance indices are introduced to measure the closeness to singularities. By using these indices, a uniform “metric” can be found to represent the closeness to singularities for different types of nonredundant parallel manipulators.

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