The Mechanisms and Robotics Conference has traditionally provided a vigorous and stimulating international forum for the exchange of technical and scientific information on the theory and practice of mechanical systems. The topical coverage has span areas central to mechanical systems including design (novel mechanisms and robots, synthesis), analysis (kinematics, dynamics, computational approaches, and software systems), applications (from micro-air vehicles, modular robotics, origami applications, medical robotics, to exoskeleton-assistive systems), and educational practices.

This 4th IDETC Special Issue, containing 18 papers from researchers in five countries on three continents, seeks to capture the exciting research, emerging topics, and latest results from the 41st ASME Mechanisms and Robotics (M&R) conference in archival format. We hope readers will find this Special Issue interesting and informative as we have attempted to capture the richness and diversity across the various symposia of M&R 2017. As our editorial work comes to an end, we would like to express our deep appreciation to all the authors who supported this Special Issue by contributing papers. We are also grateful to all the reviewers for their service and commitment to the journal through rigorous reviews, timely response to the tight schedule, and above all, insightful and constructive comments that helped shape the final outcome. Last but not least, our sincere appreciation goes to the Editor, Professor Vijay Kumar, for his vision, support, and valuable advice throughout this process.