Type synthesis of multimode parallel manipulators (PMs) (also parallel manipulators with multiple operation modes) is an open issue in the research on reconfigurable mechanisms and robots. This paper deals with the type synthesis of 3-DOF (degree-of-freedom) parallel manipulators with both a planar operation mode and a spatial translational operation mode. The type synthesis of planar parallel manipulators, which refer to parallel manipulators in which the moving platform undergoes planar motion, is first dealt with using the virtual-chain approach. Types of planar parallel manipulators, including those involving Bennett compositional unit (CU), are obtained. Then, the types of 3-DOF parallel manipulators with both a planar operation mode and a translational operation mode are obtained. This paper focuses on 3-DOF parallel manipulators composed of only revolute joints. This work contributes to the type synthesis of parallel manipulators and can be extended to the type synthesis of other classes of multimode parallel manipulators.

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