the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Type synthesis of nonoverconstrained and overconstrained two rotation and three translation (2R3T) parallel mechanisms with three branched chains
Yu Rong
Xingchao Zhang
Tianci Dou
Hongbo Wang
In this paper, a new synthesis method of 2R3T (R denotes rotation and T denotes translation) overconstrained and nonoverconstrained parallel mechanisms (PMs) with three branched chains based on the displacement submanifold method is presented. Firstly, the displacement submanifolds of mechanisms were determined based on 2R3T motions. Subsequently, the displacement submanifolds of the branched chains were derived using the displacement submanifold theory, and their corresponding motion diagrams were provided. Additionally, a comprehensive analysis of nonoverconstrained 2R3T PMs with a singleconstraint branched chain was conducted, and the type synthesis of overconstrained 2R3T PMs with two or three identical constraints was also performed, accompanied by the presentation of partial mechanism diagrams. Finally, the number of DOF (degrees of freedom) of the mechanism was calculated using the modified Kutzbach–Grübler equation for a new PMs,and the screw theory was used to verify the kinematic characteristics, proving this new method's correctness.
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The parallel mechanisms (PMs) have the advantages of high rigidity, high bearing capacity, and small cumulative error and are widely used in aerospace, machining, medical rehabilitation, bionics, and other fields (Li et al., 2021; Zhou et al., 2022; L. Wang et al., 2022; Niu et al., 2023). According to the constraints of branched chains in relation to the moving platform, PMs can be divided into overconstrained and nonoverconstrained PMs. The overconstrained PMs have two or more identical constraints, such as redundant constraints that can improve the stiffness of the mechanism, which has attracted extensive research by scholars on overconstrained PMs in recent years. Chen et al. (2021) proposed a new overconstrained PM without parasitic motion, clarified the reasons for the nonparasitic motion characteristics of the mechanism, and studied its kinematics and dynamics. Ibrahim et al. (2015) designed a 4DOF, endoscopic, dexterous PM for minimally invasive surgery, deduced the mechanism's forward and inverse kinematic solutions, and studied the singularity using the screw theory (Sun et al., 2018). As an example, a 2DOF overconstrained PM was applied to an assembly line, and the kinematic calibration problem of an overconstrained PM was studied. Du et al. (2022) established the geometric error model of the 2UPR–RPU (where U, P, R, C, and S represent universal, prismatic, revolute, cylindrical, and spherical joints, respectively) overconstrained PM and performed a sensitivity analysis on the error source.
Although the overconstrained PMs have excellent stiffness and loadcarrying capacity, they are often required to meet special geometric conditions and are very sensitive to partmanufacturing and assembly errors. If these conditions cannot be met, the mechanism will not only be challenged to ensure motion accuracy but will also be unable to maintain the designed motion characteristics. Therefore, it is equally important to study nonoverconstrained PMs. Huang et al. (2011) proposed a systematic synthesis method of symmetric nonoverconstrained 3DOF translational PMs using the screw theory. Ye et al. (2022) presented a type synthesis method of 4DOF nonoverconstrained parallel mechanisms (PMs) with symmetrical structures using screw theory. Ye and Hu (2021) proposed a novel 3DOF RPU+UPU+SPU PM, and its complete kinematics and stiffness are studied. Kuo et al. (2014) proposed a nonoverconstrained 3DOF parallelpositioning mechanism. The inverse and forward kinematic solutions of the mechanism are provided.
Type synthesis is the essential factor that determines the function and performance of mechanical equipment, and it is also the first step in the exploration of the development of new processing equipment and is worthy of indepth study. Type synthesis seeks the specific topology structure of the mechanism under the constraint of the number and characteristics of the desired DOF, and its core is to describe mechanism motion patterns. Therefore, based on the different description methods, the existing type synthesis methods can be divided into two categories: instantaneous motionbased methods and finite motionbased methods. Among them, the instantaneous motionbased methods include the constrained screw synthesis method (S. Wang et al., 2022; X. Li et al., 2022), the map method (Lu and Ye, 2017), and the differential geometry synthesis method (Meng et al., 2007; Li et al., 2011). These methods can only describe the motion of mechanisms in instantaneous states and cannot express the motion characteristics of mechanisms in continuous motion processes. The finite motionbased methods include the displacement subgroup and/or submanifold synthesis method (Hervé, 1999), the GF (generalized function) synthesis method (Zhang et al., 2018), the linear transformation method (Gogu, 2009), the POC (position and orientation characteristic) set method (Jin and Yang, 2004), and the finite screw method (Yang et al., 2016). These methods can describe the continuous motion of mechanisms, avoiding the synthesis result being an instantaneous mechanism, and do not require checks regarding fullcycle mobility.
In 1978, Hervé (1978) introduced Lie group theory into mechanism analysis, laying the theoretical foundation for using Lie group theory to analyze the DOF of mechanisms. In 2004, Li et al. (2004) systematically expounded the method's general theory and process. Based on this theory, Li et al. (2017) studied the equivalent mechanism of 3DOF RPR branchedchain motion. L. Li et al. (2022) synthesized a 3DOF parallel mechanical branch with double branches. Wei and Dai (2019) studied a reconfigurable parallel mechanism and the configuration transformation problem. Note that, among the numerous studies on type synthesis, there are relatively few works that are focused on 2R3T PMs. Most of the existing 2R3T PMs are composed of a single constrained branched chain and multiple unconstrained branched chains, and there are many joints in 2R3T PMs, such as the 2UPS+UPU PM (Rong et al., 2018), the 5PSS+UPU PM (Li et al., 2019), and the 4UCU+UCR PM (Luo et al., 2021). The joint is the weak part of the mechanism, which is the main reason for the deformation and clearance of the mechanism; thus, a mechanism with a small number of joints theoretically has better accuracy and stiffness. Therefore, an effective way to reduce the number of joints and to improve the accuracy and stiffness of the mechanism is to replace unconstrained branch chains with constrained branched chains and make the mechanisms become overconstrained PMs. Unfortunately, there are few reports on the configuration of overconstrained 2R3T PMs.
This paper studies various combinations of constrained branched chains and proposes a type synthesis method for nonoverconstrained and overconstrained 2R3T PMs. The rest of this article is organized as follows. In Sect. 2, based on the displacement submanifold method, the synthesis steps of 2R3T PMs are proposed, as are branchedchain bonds {X(u)}{R(N,u)} and {G(v)}{G(u)}. Type synthesis of nonoverconstrained and overconstrained 2R3T PMs with a branched chain of {X(u)}{R(N,u)} has been conducted in Sect. 3. Type synthesis of nonoverconstrained 2R3T PMs with a branched chain of {G(v)}{G(u)} has been conducted in Sect. 4. In Sect. 5, a representative configuration is selected for DOF analysis to verify the correctness of the new configuration. Section 6 discusses an optimal type for practical application, and a physical prototype is given.
In 1978, Hervé (1978) enumerated all 12 kinds of displacement subgroups, as shown in Table 1. It also can be readily proven that the displacement submanifold {M_{e}} of the end effector is the intersection of the subgroups or submanifolds {M_{Li}} produced by all branched chains, both of which must satisfy the following equation (Lin et al., 2022):
where {M_{Li}} is the product of the kinematic joint displacement submanifold that makes up the branched chain i, and the displacement submanifold synthesis method for the 2R3T PMs in this paper is summarized in the following six steps, see Fig. 1.
According to the representation method of the displacement submanifold, the displacement submanifold of rigidbody motion with a 2R3T property is
In Eq. (2), there are two cases where the first displacement subgroup of {T} is {T(x)}, {T(x)}{T(y)}{T(z)}, and {T(x)}{T(z)}{T(y)}. If x∥u and u⊥v (∥ and ⊥ represent the parallel and vertical geometric relationship, respectively), then $\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{z}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{y}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{G}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}$, and combined with Table 1's {X(u)}, we can get
Figure 2 shows the motion diagram of the displacement submanifold {X(u)}{R(N,u)} corresponding to the kinematic branch ^{u}P^{u}G^{v}R (G represents planar pair, and the superscripts represent the axis direction of the prismatic or revolute joint), in which the line with double arrows indicates translational, the planar area indicates plane motion, and the straight line indicates rotational.
The 3D displacement subgroup G(u) represents the two translationals in a plane and the rotational about the plane normal. Table 2 lists the branched chains constituting the plane pair and the corresponding displacement subgroup.
From Table 2, we can get the displacement submanifolds $\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{X}\right(u\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{v}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\left(\mathit{\right\{}\mathrm{T}\left(\mathit{x}\right)\mathit{\left\}}\mathrm{G}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\{}\mathrm{R}(N,\mathit{v})\mathit{\left\}}\right)$ and the corresponding branched chains ^{x}P^{u}R^{z}P^{u}R^{v}R, ^{x}P^{u}R^{u}R^{u}R^{v}R, ^{x}P^{z}P^{u}R^{u}R^{v}R, ^{x}P^{u}R^{u}R^{z}P^{v}R, ^{x}P^{z}P^{u}R^{y}P^{v}R, ^{x}P^{u}R^{z}P^{y}P^{v}R, and ^{x}P^{z}P^{y}P^{u}R^{v}R.
Based on the displacement submanifold method, the $\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{x}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{z}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{y}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{v}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right({N}_{\mathrm{1}},\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}$ corresponding rigidbody motion is also 2R3T. According to the product closure of the displacement submanifold, there will be $\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{C}\right(N,\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{y}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{y}\left)\mathit{\right\}}$, which can get
where {G(v)}{G(u)} is the displacement submanifold of the ^{v}G^{u}G, and Fig. 3 is a schematic diagram of the displacement submanifold {G(v)}{G(u)}. It can be seen from Table 2 that the number of {G(u)} is 7 so the number of {G(v)}{G(u)} is 7 × 7 = 49.
From the above analysis, we can see that there are two types of {X(u)}{R(N,u)} and {G(v)}{G(u)} in the {M_{Li}} of 2R3T PMs.
3.1 Type synthesis of nonoverconstrained 2R3T PMs
For conciseness, this paper defines the UPS, URS, PRPS, and PRRS branched chains as 6_{i} (i=1, 2, 3, 4) and defines ^{x}P^{u}R^{z}P^{u}R^{v}R, ^{x}P^{u}R^{u}R^{u}R^{v}R, ^{x}P^{z}P^{u}R^{u}R^{v}R, ^{x}P^{u}R^{u}R^{z}P^{v}R, ^{x}P^{z}P^{u}R^{y}P^{v}R, ^{x}P^{u}R^{z}P^{y}P^{v}R, and ^{x}P^{z}P^{y}P^{u}R^{v}R branched chains as 5_{j}, j=1, 2, …, 7.
By combining a single constrained branch chain 5_{1} with unconstrained branch chains, 10 configurations can be obtained, as shown in Fig. 4. The 2UPS–PRPU PM in Fig. 4a includes a moving platform (m); a base platform (B); two UPS branched chains (l_{1} and l_{2}); and one PRPU branched chain (l_{3}), where l_{3} is further divided into l_{31} and l_{32}. Here, m is an isosceles triangle with three vertices C_{i} (i=1, 2, 3) and the normal of the plane, in which m is located in n. B is a rectangle with four vertices A_{i} (i=1, 2, 4, 5), and A_{3} is the center of the R joint in the branch chain l_{3}. Considering the fact that there are seven types of single constrained branch chains, combined with Fig. 4, it can be concluded that there are 70 types of category 6–6–5 PMs.
According to the characteristic of the constrained force and/or torque of the branches of the PMs with limited DOF, Ye and Hu (2021) proposed a rule for judging the constrained force and/or torque:
 a.
In each leg, the constrained forces should be perpendicular to all P joints and coplanar with all R joints.
 b.
The constrained torques should be perpendicular to all R joints in each leg.
Let R_{ij} be the jth R joint from B to m in the branched chain l_{i}. According to rules (a) and (b), it can be seen that, in the constraint branched chain l_{3} of the PMs shown in Fig. 4, one constrained torque τ is perpendicular to R_{12}, R_{12}, and R_{13}. It can be seen that the mechanisms synthesized in this section are nonoverconstrained PMs.
3.2 Type synthesis of overconstrained 2R3T PMs with two identical constraints
This section selects the unconstrained branched chain 63 and the same constrained branched chains 5_{i}–5_{i} as specific types for analysis. The 2PRPU–PRPS PM in Fig. 5a includes a moving platform (m), a base platform (B), two PRPU branched chains (l_{1} and l_{2}), and one PRPS branched chain (l_{3}). Here, A_{1}, A_{2}, and A_{3} are the centers of the R joints, C_{1} and C_{2} are the centers of the U joints, C_{3} is the center of the S joint, and m is an isosceles triangle with three vertices C_{i} (i=1, 2, 3), and the normal of the plane in which m is located is n. N is the midpoint of C_{1} and C_{2}, and R_{ij} denotes the jth R joint in branched chain l_{i}. As shown in Fig. 5, the kinematic bond of branched chain l_{i} in Fig. 5a is
where {T(u)} represents the translation along u, {R(A_{1},u)} represents the rotation through point A_{1}, and the axis of rotation is u; u and v represent the related joints' unit direction vector. Vector w_{i} is collinear with A_{i}C_{i}. In Eq. (5), {R(A_{1},u)}, {T(w_{1})}, and {R(C_{1},u)} can form {G(u)} so {L_{1}} can also be expressed as
Similarly, {L_{2}} can also be expressed as
Because C_{1}C_{2} passes through point N and is parallel to axis v, $\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right({C}_{\mathrm{1}},\mathit{v}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right({C}_{\mathrm{2}},\mathit{v}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{v}\left)\mathit{\right\}}$. The displacement set of the moving platform is as follows:
According to Eq. (8), the DOF of 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{y}P^{y}RPS PM is 2R3T, and the DOF of the other mechanisms in Fig. 5 is also 2R3T, which is not verified here. At the same time, according to Fig. 5, it can be known that the geometric conditions for realizing two constrained branched chains ^{u}P^{u}G^{v}R to maintain 2R3T are as follows: the normals of the two plane pairs are parallel to each other, and the axes of the revolute pairs are collinear.
In Sect. 3.1, four kinds of unconstrained branched chains are listed so, in this section, there are 7 × 4 = 28 kinds of PMs with the same configuration of constrained branched chains and 21 × 4 = 84 kinds of PMs with different configurations of constrained branched chains. It can be seen that there are (28 + 84) = 112 kinds of threebranchedchain PMs composed of doubleconstraint branched chains. Table 3 lists PMs of category 5–5–6_{3}.
According to the constrained force and/or torque judgment rules (a) and (b), in Fig. 5, there exists a constrained torque τ_{1}, which is perpendicular to R_{1j} (j=1, 2, 3) in branched chain l_{1}, and a constrained torque τ_{2}, which is perpendicular to R_{2j} (j=1, 2, 3) in branched chain l_{2}. Also, because of R_{11} ∥ R_{21} ∥ x, the direction vectors of constrained torques τ_{1} and τ_{2} are parallel to each other, and the branch chains l_{1} and l_{2} impose identical constraints on the moving platform. Similarly, the other configurations in Fig. 5 have such constraint relationships.
3.3 Type synthesis of overconstrained 2R3T PMs with three identical constraints
The multiconstraint branchedchain {X(u)}{R(N,u)} PMs studied in this subsection are used to replace the unconstrained branched chain in the doubleconstraint branchedchain mechanism with a constrained branched chain so that all three branched chains are constrained branched chains.
In Sect. 3.2, the kinematic bond of branched chains 1 and 2 is $\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{X}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{G}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{R}\right(N,\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}$. According to the definition of {X(u)} in Table 1, there is $\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{X}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{G}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}=\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{G}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}\mathit{\left\{}\mathrm{T}\right(\mathit{u}\left)\mathit{\right\}}$. Let the kinematic bond of branched chain 3 be {G(u)}{T(u)}{R(N,v)}. Figure 6 is a schematic diagram of the displacement submanifold 2{X(u)}{R(N,u)}.
Equation (9) shows that the motion of the mechanism composed of the kinematic branched chains ^{u}G^{u}P^{v}R and 2^{u}P^{u}G^{v}R is still 2R3T.
In Sect. 3.2, it is obtained that the {X(u)}{R(N,u)}type mechanism has 7 singleconstraint branched chains and 28 doubleconstraint branched chains. Therefore, there are 7 × 28 = 196 kinds of threeconstrained PMs. Figure 7 shows part of the mechanism schematic diagram of type 5_{1}–5_{1}–^{u}G^{u}P^{v}R. The 2PRPU–RPRPR PM in Fig. 5a includes a moving platform (m), a base platform (B), two PRPU branched chains (l_{1} and l_{2}), and one RPRPR branched chain l_{3}. Here, A_{1}, A_{2}, and A_{3} are the centers of the R joints, C_{1} and C_{2} are the centers of the U joints, C_{31} and C_{32} are the centers of the R joints in branched chain l_{3}, and m is an isosceles triangle with three vertices (C_{1}, C_{2}, and C_{32}), and the normal of the plane in which m is located is n. N is the midpoint of C_{1} and C_{2}, and R_{ij} denotes the jth R joint in branched chain l_{i}. In Fig. 7a, the kinematic bond of branched chain 3 can be written as
where w_{i} is the unit vector of branched chain i; combined with Eqs. (6) and (7), this can get
According to Eq. (11), the property of the DOF of the mechanism 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{u}RP^{u}R^{u}P^{v}R is 2R3T. We can also verify other PMs in Fig. 6, which will not be repeated here.
According to the constrained force and/or torque judgment rules (a) and (b), in Fig. 7, a constrained torque τ_{i} is perpendicular to R_{ij} (j=1, 2, 3) in branched chain l_{i} (i=1, 2, 3). Because of R_{11} ∥ R_{21} ∥ R_{31}∥x, the direction vectors of constrained torques τ_{1}, τ_{2}, and τ_{3} are parallel, and the branch chains l_{1}, l_{2}, and l_{3} impose identical constraints on the moving platform. Similarly, the other configurations in Fig. 7 have such constraint relationships.
According to Sect. 2, the 5D displacement subgroup {G(v)}{G(u)} can be obtained by combing {G(v)}, {G(u)}, and v⊥u. In this section, a PM of type {G(v)}{G(u)} can be obtained by combining planar pair G(v), planar pair G(u), and the unconstrained branched chain. From Table 2, it can be seen that the G(u) has seven configurations so there are 49 kinds of {G(v)}{G(u)} constraint branched chains, as shown in Table 4. Figure 3 in Sect. 3.1 shows 10 types of double unrestrained branched chains (6–6). Therefore, the PMs composed of {G(v)}{G(u)} branched chains and unconstrained branched chains (6–6) have a total of 49 × 10 = 490 kinds. Figure 8 shows part of the mechanism schematic diagram of category 6_{3}–6_{3}–^{v}RP^{v}R^{u}G.
Combined with the previous content, a total of 868 new types are synthesized in this paper, of which there are 378 PMs of {X(u)}{R(N,u)} class (70 PMs with singleconstraint branched chains, 112 PMs with doubleconstraint branched chains, and 196 PMs with multiconstraint branched chains) and 490 PMs of {G(v)}{G(u)} class, enriching the types of 2R3T PMs.
In order to verify the correctness of the type synthesis method, this section adopts the modified Kutzbach–Grübler equation to calculate the number of DOF and uses the screw theory to verify the property of DOF. Taking 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{u}RP^{u}R^{u}P^{v}R as an example in Fig. 6a, point A_{3} is selected as the origin of the static coordinate system, and the screw system of branched chains l_{1} and l_{2} is
Based on the screw theory, the constraint wrench of branched chains 1 and 2 can be expressed as
The twist system of branched chain ^{u}RP^{u}R^{x}P^{v}R is
The constraint wrench of branched chain ^{u}RP^{u}R^{x}P^{v}R can be expressed as
From Eqs. (13) and (15), the overall restraint wrench of the 2^{x}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{u}RP^{u}R^{x}P^{v}R PM can be expressed as
where $${}_{m}^{\mathrm{r}}$ represents the constrained torque perpendicular to the plane of the two rotational pairs ^{u}R and ^{v}R. Therefore, the constraint torques of the three branched chains are parallel to each other, forming a common constraint. There is only one constraint torque in the 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{u}RP^{u}R^{u}P^{v}R PM, and the mechanism can generate 2R3T motion.
The number of DOF of the 2^{x}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{u}RP^{u}R^{x}P^{v}R is calculated using the Kutzbach–Grübler equation:
where M is the number of DOF of the mechanism, v is the total number of overconstrained PMs, g is the number of joints, n represents the number of rigid bodies in the PM, f_{i} represents the DOF number of the ith joint, and η is the number of redundancy DOF. For the 2^{x}P^{u}P^{u}R^{v}R/^{u}RP^{u}R^{x}P^{v}R PM, the number of DOF is
In practical engineering applications, it is vital to consider the feasibility of fabrication and assembly and the requirements of the task's degrees of freedom. The PMs with two constraint branched chains shown in Fig. 5 have three advantages:

The PMs have fewer joints (16 kinematic joints), which reduces errors due to joint gaps.

Fewer kinematic joints reduce the manufacturing costs and assembly difficulties of the PMs, which is more convenient for manufacturing and practical application.

The doubledrive PMs contain two doubledrive branch chains (i.e., there are two drivers on one branch chain), and this type of PM reduces the number of branch chains while maintaining the DOF, resulting in a high degree of dexterity.
Based on the 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{y}P^{y}RPS shown in Fig. 5, we established its 3D model and physical prototype, as shown in Figs. 9 and 10. Motion experiments were conducted on the prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of the PMs with doubleconstraint branched chains; as shown in Fig. 11, the end effector moves to eight points on the upper end of the hub in sequence. Through this experiment, we demonstrated the feasibility of the 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{y}P^{y}RPS PM prototype and validated its workspace's effectiveness. It provides an essential foundation for further research.
In order to obtain 5DOF PMs with fewer joints, a threebranch 2R3T PM type synthesis method is proposed, and the validity of the method is verified with a new 2R3T PM with three branched chains, as an example.

The displacement subgroups {X(u)}{R(N,u)} and {G(u)}{G(v)} of the constraint branch of the 2R3T PMs are derived in detail, and the motion diagrams of the corresponding displacement subgroups are presented, providing an intuitive and concise representation method for chain kinematic bonds in the configuration synthesis process.

The PMs synthesized in this paper can be categorized into three types: nonoverconstrained PMs, overconstrained PMs with two constrained branched chains, and overconstrained PMs with three constrained branched chains. The analysis shows that the constraints of the three types of PMs are the same. Specifically, the direction of constrained torque is mutually perpendicular to all revolute joints in the constrained branched chains.

A class of three branchedchain 2R3T PMs with the fewest kinematic joints (15 kinematic joints) is synthesized based on the type synthesis method proposed in this paper. The number and property of the DOF of the typical PM are verified using the screw theory and the modified Kutzbach–Grübler equation.

Future research will focus on the stiffness analysis, dynamics analysis, and control algorithms of the 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{y}P^{y}RPS mechanism prototype, aiming to enable the 2^{u}P^{u}RP^{u}R^{v}R–^{y}P^{y}RPS mechanism prototype to be applied in actual production tasks.
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
YR and XZ conceptualized the study, wrote the original draft of the paper, and reviewed and edited the paper. TD and HW assisted with the theory. All the authors read and approved the final paper.
The contact author has declared that none of the authors has any competing interests.
Publisher’s note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this paper. While Copernicus Publications makes every effort to include appropriate place names, the final responsibility lies with the authors.
We would like to thank the Hebei Natural Science Foundation (grant no. E2021203018) for the financial support.
This research has been supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (grant no. E2021203018).
This paper was edited by Haiyang Li and reviewed by three anonymous referees.
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 Abstract
 Introduction
 A synthesis method of 2R3T PMs
 Type synthesis of 2R3T PMs with {X(u)}{R(N,u)}
 Type synthesis of 2R3T PMs with {G(u)}{G(v)}
 Case analysis
 Engineering applications
 Conclusions
 Data availability
 Author contributions
 Competing interests
 Disclaimer
 Acknowledgements
 Financial support
 Review statement
 References
 Abstract
 Introduction
 A synthesis method of 2R3T PMs
 Type synthesis of 2R3T PMs with {X(u)}{R(N,u)}
 Type synthesis of 2R3T PMs with {G(u)}{G(v)}
 Case analysis
 Engineering applications
 Conclusions
 Data availability
 Author contributions
 Competing interests
 Disclaimer
 Acknowledgements
 Financial support
 Review statement
 References