Inversion of the Jacobian matrix is the critical step in rate decomposition which is used to solve the so-called “inverse kinematics” problem of robotics. This is the problem of achieving a coordinated motion relative to the fixed reference frame. In this paper a general methodology is presented for formulation and manipulation of the Jacobian matrix. The formulation is closely tied to the geometry of the system and lends itself to simplification using appropriate coordinate transformations. This is of great importance since it gives a systematic approach to the derivation of efficient, analytical inverses. The method is also applied to the examination of geometrically singular positions. Several important general results relating to the structure of the singularity field are deducible from the structure of the algebraic system.

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