A family of novel mechanisms with three limbs called sea lion ball mechanisms (SLBMs) is investigated that looks like a sea lion playing with a ball. The SLBM-type mechanism is composed of an upper part and a lower part connected together by three limbs in parallel, and the translational and rotational motions are fully/partially decoupled. The end-effector position is determined by inputs of the lower part, while the posture is mainly determined by inputs of the upper part. First, two compositional principles are abstracted and the corresponding mathematical models are built for the SLBM-type mechanisms that the commutative feature of the SLBMs is found. Then, two type synthesis procedures containing five steps are proposed correspondingly. Following the procedure, a family of novel four, five, and six degrees-of-freedom (DOF) SLBM-type mechanisms is synthesized systematically. The motion patterns of the limbs are enumerated according to the given desired ones of the mechanisms and the limbs are synthesized correspondingly. Finally, several novel SLBM-type mechanisms are achieved by assembling the obtained limbs and selecting the actuated joints.

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