Tangential intersection of branches of motion

P. C. López-Custodio*, A. Müller, X. Kang, J. S. Dai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The branches of motion in the configuration space of a reconfigurable linkage can intersect in different ways leading to different types of singularities. In the vast majority of reported linkages whose configuration spaces contain multiple branches of motion the intersection happens transversally, allowing local methods, like the computation of its tangent cone, to identify different branches by means of their tangents. However, if these branches are of the same dimension and they intersect tangentially, it is not possible to identify them by means of the tangent cone at the singularity as the tangent spaces to the branches are the same. Although this possibility has been mentioned by a few researchers, whether linkages with this kind of tangent intersection of branches of motion exist is still an open question. In this paper, it is shown that the answer to this question is yes: A local method is proposed for the effective identification of branches of motion intersecting tangentially, and a method for the type synthesis of linkages that exhibit this particular type of singularity is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103730
JournalMechanism and machine theory
Early online date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Configuration space
  • Kinematics
  • Reconfigurable mechanisms
  • Singularity
  • Tangential intersections


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