This paper introduces a new generation of robotic mechanisms. Such mechanisms are intermediate between the familiar serial and the fully-parallel robotic mechanisms. They usually comprise several subassemblies that are serially connected to one another. Each subassembly is basically an over constrained fully parallel kinematic chain. Such mechanisms are called “Partially-Parallel Robotic Mechanisms.” A type synthesis of planar and spatial partially-parallel robotic mechanisms is performed. Several practical designs are then introduced and studied for future robotic applications. Several performance criteria of this type of mechanisms are discussed and compared with those of serial as well as fully-parallel robotic mechanisms. Partially-parallel mechanisms are superior than serial mechanisms in rigidity, strength precision positioning and load carrying capacity. Furthermore, they are relatively less complex and have larger range of motion than fully-parallel mechanisms.

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