This paper deals with kinematic analysis and design of articulated manipulators having constraints on joint motions. For an articulated manipulator with joint rotation constraints, the workspace is composed of several bounding surfaces and the number of bounding surfaces depend on the ranges and the mean positions of joint rotations. We show that the maximum workspace is not necessarily obtained for equal link lengths but is also determined by the range and mean positions of the joint motions. We present expressions for sectional area, workspace volume, overlap volume and work area in terms of link ratios, mean positions and ranges of joint motion.

To ensure maximum utilization of a manipulator in applications such as painting and welding, instead of the total workspace, it is often of more interest to obtain the maximum regular area or volume that can be embedded inside the workspace. In this paper, we present a numerical procedure to obtain the maximum rectangular area that can be embedded in the workspace of an articulated manipulator with joint rotation constraints.

The analytical expressions and the numerical plots are used for the kinematic design of an articulated manipulators with joint rotation constraints.

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