Motion planning for a class of planar closed-chain manipulators

N. Shvalb, M. Shoham, G. Liu, J. C. Trinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The paper reports studies on the motion planning problem for planar star-shaped manipulators. These manipulators are formed by joining k legs to a common point (like the thorax of an insect) and then fixing the feet to the ground. The result is a planar parallel manipulator with k - 1 independent closed loops. A topological analysis is used to understand the global structure of the configuration space so that the planning problem can be solved exactly. The worst-case complexity of the algorithm is O(k3 N3), where N is the maximum number of links in a leg. Examples illustrating the method are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-473
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Robotics Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Connected components
  • Motion planning
  • Parallel mechanism
  • Planar mechanisms
  • Topology


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