Operation mode analysis of lower-mobility parallel mechanisms based on dual quaternions

Kai Liu, Xianwen Kong, Jingjun Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


This paper aims to provide an efficient way for analyzing operation modes and revealing corresponding motion characteristics of lower-mobility parallel mechanisms (LMPMs) using unit dual quaternions. Unit dual quaternions are first classified into 132 cases corresponding to 132 elementary operation modes based on the number of constant zero components. Meanwhile, the kinematic interpretation of these cases is presented in detail. Then a general method for analyzing operation modes and revealing motion characteristics of LMPMs is proposed according to unit dual quaternions and geometrical constraints. By this means, operation modes of LMPMs with complicated constraint conditions can also be analyzed, where a prime decomposition of the ideal corresponding to constraint equations in this condition is infeasible. Taken a 3-RSR LMPM and a 3-RPS LMPM as examples, the operation modes and motion characteristics can be obtained by the proposed approach. It is shown that the former LMPM has seven operation modes including two elementary operation modes and five extra operation modes. Under certain operation modes, the zero-torsion motion of the 3-RSR LMPM can not even be achieved. On the other hand, the latter has two operation modes in which the parasitic motion exists. To gain a deeper insight into the physical meaning of the operation modes, axodes are analyzed and drawn by mean of the velocity operator. It is demonstrated that the 3-RSR LMPM can realize an equal-diameter spherical pure rolling movement with variable diameters and the 3-RPS LMPM can achieve a rolling movement accompanied by sliding.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103577
JournalMechanism and Machine Theory
Early online date30 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Axode
  • Dual quaternion
  • Geometric constraint
  • Lower-mobility parallel mechanism
  • Operation mode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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