Type synthesis

Type Synthesis, Assur Groups, and Rigidity

These lecture notes introduce students to research on classifying linkage systems which involves a variety of ideas such as Assur groups, Baranov trusses, and Rigidity theory.  Organizing the increasing complexity of machine systems to guide inventors has attracted researchers for literally generations and has generally been called “Type synthesis.”  The goal is to provide a systematic way to explore the types of linkage systems that are available to address a design need.

Type Synthesis
Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

2016 Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

Symposia organized for the 2016 Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

The 2016 Mechanisms and Robotics conference is part of International Design Engineering Technical Conferences organized by ASME International in Charlotte, North Caroline, August 22-24.

Plenary speaker Bernard Roth is the Academic Director of Stanford University’s d.school and the author of the Achievement Habit.

For some reason, ASME has broken these links to the 2016 IDETC conference, but you can find out more about each of the symposia at the conference overview link: 2016 ASME Mechanism and Robotics Conference Overview.  Then select the Expand all Symposia Link to see the sessions and a list of papers.


Material Unit Cell

Micro-Linkages for a Compliant Material

Material Unit Cell

Material Unit Cell

Lucas Shaw and Prof. Jonathan Hopkins show the micro-architecture of an actively compliant material. Micro-actuators within the unit cells of an assembly are coordinated to reshape the assembly as desired. This was presented as part of the 2015 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences in Boston, MA, August 2-5. The video below shows what this assembly can do.

Virgo 2 SUTD

Rolling Robot at SUTD

Virgo 2 SUTD

Virgo 2 SUTD

A research team including Profs. GimSong Soh, Kristin Wood and Kevin Otto at Robotics Innovation Lab at the Singapore University of Technology and Design has developed a rolling robot about the size of a baseball. The design and motion planning of this robot, Virgo 2.0, was presented at the Mechanisms and Robotics Conference which was part of the 2015 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences, August 2-5, in Boston, MA. A demonstration of the Virgo 2.0 moving through a figure eight path around obstacles is shown in the video below.

Tensegrity Robot

Tensegrity Robotics at UC Berkeley

Students in Professor Alice Agogino’s Berkeley Emergent Space Technologies Laboratory, the BEST Lab, working on motion planning for their tensegrity robot.

MechGen on iPhone

MechGen FG is on the iPhone

MechGen on iPhone

MechGen on iPhone

MechGen FG is now on the iPhone, thanks to the excellent work by Jeff Glabe and Kaustubh Sonawale.

Kinematics Summer School

Kinematics Summer School

Profs. Carl Nelson and Anurag Purwar organized a Summer School on Kinematic Theory at the University at Buffalo, New York as part of the 2014 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences. Please select this link to get access to all of the talks: Kinematics Summer School.

Select this link for a YouTube playlist of the videos of each presentation.  

My lecture on the synthesis of six-bar and eight-bar linkages is the third item on the playlist.

You can access a pdf of my talk at the link: Synthesis of Planar Six-bar and Eight-bar Linkages.

Among these is a nice presentation by Anurag Purwar on Quaternions and Clifford Algebras.

21st Century Kinematics

Workshop on 21st Century Kinematics

21st Century Kinematics

21st Century Kinematics

The NSF Workshop on 21st Century Kinematics at the 2012 ASME IDETC Conference in Chicago, IL on August 11-12, 2012 consisted of a series of presentations and a book of supporting material prepared by the workshop contributors.

The book is now available at amazon.com: 21st Century Kinematics–The 2012 NSF Workshop.

And here are the seven primary presentations given at the workshop.

  1. Computer-Aided Invention of Mechanisms and Robots. J. Michael McCarthy, Professor, University of California, Irvine.
  2. Mechanism Synthesis for Modeling Human Movement. Vincenzo Parenti-Castelli, Professor, University of Bologna.
  3. Algebraic Geometry and Kinematic Synthesis. Manfred Husty, Professor, University of Innsbruck.
  4. Kinematic Synthesis of Compliant Mechanisms. Larry Howell, Professor, Brigham Young University.
  5. Kinematics and Numerical Algebraic Geometry. Charles Wampler, Technical Fellow, General Motors Research and Development.
  6. Kinematic Analysis of Cable Robotic Systems. Vijay Kumar, Professor, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Protein Kinematics. Kazem Kazerounian, Professor, University of Connecticut.

Colleagues joined in with two additional presentations:

Many thanks to the contributors and the attendees for an outstanding workshop.

Update: The presentation links have been fixed.

Eightbar Motion Amplifier

Eight-bar motion amplifier

Kaustubh Sonawale and Yang Liu worked together on this design study for a micro-mechanical motion amplifier. It is an interconnected set of three eight-bar linkages.



Kinematics and Polynomials

Kinematics and Polynomials–available on a Mac

Until yesterday, my iBooks Introduction to Theoretical Kinematics and Kinematics and Polynomials were available only on the iPad, but now with OSX Mavericks they are available on any Mac. Please give it a try. You can download a sample at this link: Kinematics and Polynomials sample.