This paper discusseskinematic/kinetic performance characteristics of multi-DOF mechanisms and proposes analytical and graphical representations for them. These performance characteristics are kinematic cross-coupling, directional motion mobility, force manipulability and motion efficiency. Properties of the proposed analytical/graphical measures are elaborated on for the purpose of kinematic synthesis. Graphical performance distribution over the mechanism's reachable workspace enables the designer to view the performance as a whole. Critical performance points representing extreme conditions of these perfomance characteristics are identified and used for design. The proposed performance tools will be demonstrated for the performance analysis of various robotic mechanisms.
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Acknowledgements--The authors would like to thank the NSF for the support of this work under grant number MSS-9012456. Also the help of Mark Bcnner in reviewing the manuscript is appreciated.