A Message From the President

Dear IFToMM Friends:

As usual, we had a rather active year, trying to increase our membership, to begin with; then, consolidating our ongoing activities, by promoting PCs that had seen their activity all but vanished, and carrying out our steady effort dubbed TMM21. In the department of memberships, it is my pleasure to report that we have received a formal application for membership from Singapore, and we have been advised that one more from Greece is coming soon.

It is noteworthy that the PCs History and Education are now working at full throttle, the former under Professor Ceccarelli's leadership, the latter under Professor Waldron's. Professor Ceccarelli is actively promoting the publication of papers on History of TMM and, moreover, organizing an international symposium on the subject, HMM2000, which is included in the list of conferences in this issue. Professor Waldron, in turn, has made a big effort in renewing the membership of the PC Education. We have already an updated list of members of this PC, which is working on a worldwide survey of the teaching of TMM, within the context of TMM21. The PC Conferences is in transition, for we have plans to enhance it to a PC Communication, with the mandate of publishing the Newsletter and compiling and maintaining information on TCs, PCs, EC, and TMM-related technical meetings. The PC Standardization of Terminology continues displaying its usual activity, with plans to produce a second edition of its Terminology, while the PC Publications continues reporting an excellent health of Mechanism and Machine Theory.

On the attendace of IFToMM-sponsored meetings, I had the opportunity to attend ARK 98, the Sixth International Symposium on Robot Kinematics, in Strobl, Austria. The event was organized by Drs. Jadran Lenarcic, of Ljubljana's Josef Stefan Institute, and Manfred Husty, of Austria's Montanuniversität in Leoben. Dr. Husty being a geometer, he left his imprint in this meeting, with a stronger-than-usual participation of geometers. A highlight of ARK 98 was the umbrella in the author's kit, which turned out to be quite handy, for we had rain everyday during the meeting. The symposium took place in a touristic area, at St. Wolfgang Lake, made famous by former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who has chosen it as his summer retreat. The venue was the Institute for Adult Education of the region, about 30 km away from Salzburg, with excellent facilities. What participants found quite handy as well was the location of the TV room, just beside the meeting room where the technical presentations were held. Note that the TV room turned out to be as important a meeting place as the other room, for the World Cup quarter finals turned out to take place during ARK!

Ro.Man.Sy. 98 deserves special mention because it took place in Paris in early July, in open competition with the World Cup. It is my pleasure to report that, despite the craze of the latter, the former was attended as usual, and as alive as in previous occasions. The host, Prof. Jean-Claude Guinot, and his team of the Laboratoire de Robotique de Paris, University of Paris VI, did an excellent job not only on the technical side, but also in securing a hotel room for the attendees in the presence of an unusually busy session for the tourism business in Paris. But Prof. Guinot's team did more than that: in pace with the soccer folly of the moment, Dr. Dominique Duhaut, of the Guinot team, organized RoboCup, a soccer competition among teams of robots. The event took place in nothing else than la Villete, the world-class Paris center for science and technology exhibit and activities.

As a part of the fringe activities during Ro.Man.Sy., a group of about 20 attendees had an outing to Joinville-le-Pont, on the Marne, to a guinguette. If you're not familiar with the name, a guinguette is a quite affordable restaurant offering inexpensive food and wine, on a riverside, with a unique atmosphere including an accordionist with an extremely rich repertoire of songs of the turn of the century. While you may have never heard the word, guinguettes are worldwide famous, for they have been immortalized in paintings by impressionist artists, featuring groups of young men and women eating, drinking, flirting, and singing along with boatmen doning typical straw hats (canotiers) and striped T-shirts. Paradigms of these paintings are Manet's Argenteuil (1874), En bateau (1874), and Renoir's Le Déjeuner des canotiers (1881).

Just prior to Ro.Man.Sy. the Executive Council met in Paris as well. An account of the meeting is to be found in this issue, as per the report of our Secretary-General, Prof. Tatu Leinonen, who has been moonlighting as General Chair of the 10th World Congress. I want to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Leinonen for the excellent work he has displayed in organizing the upcoming World Congress. Loyal to his deadlines, he already sent letters of acceptance to those authors whose extended abstract was submitted by the Chair of his or her member committee and, exceptionally, to authors who submitted their extended abstracts directly, in the absence of an established member committee, and who had their abstracts accepted. It is quite encouraging that 758 extended abstracts have been accepted. In this regard, it is noteworthy that The Netherlands, that has shown a strong participation in past congresses, has only four abstracts this time, while Norway submitted only one, but Sweden, which is not an IFToMM member, submitted three. We still have to see some Danish participation. On the other hand, it is quite gratifying to see that countries that had not participated in the past are now participating, which is the case of Algeria, Moldova, and Vietnam, to name but a sample.

The last event of the year that I had the opportunity to attend was the celebration of the 60th anniversary of IMash, Moscow's Institute for Machinery Research, of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This anniversary is a milestone in the area of machines and mechanisms, for IMash has played a central role in the modern developments of our discipline and our community. A former distinguished IMash professor, the late Academician I. I. Artobolevskii, is a founding father and first President of IFToMM. The celebration featured a well-attended symposium. May I take this opportunity to reiterate my best wishes to IMash and its current President, Academician K. V. Frolov, for a fruitful and successful activity in the years to come.

Now, regarding TMM21, we have received lots of input from the community around the various issues that have arisen in our discussions, e.g, the very name of IFToMM; the relevance of TMM in light of emerging disciplines like mechatronics and microelectromechanical systems; the role of IFToMM in a technological world that sees fundamental changes on a day-to-day basis. We are updating you in this issue on these discussions and reporting on some common ground that we have found and that should lead to specific actions. My intention is, at the end of my mandate, to propose a package of constitutional changes that will reflect the product of our discussions.

Last, but by no means least, my best wishes to you all on the occasion of the forthcoming holiday season.

Jorge Angeles, Président

From the Editor

Dear IFToMM Friends:

Welcome to the 1998 edition of the Newsletter! Here we are updating you both on events that happened and on our plans for the future.

First and foremost, our failures: One more year elapsed without having succeeded in transferring the job of publishing the Newsletter to the current Chair of the PC Conferences, Prof. Gabor Stepan, who kindly volunteered to give it a try. In-between, as Prof. Stepan reported, the co-worker he had in mind to help him with the task left his institute. We will keep searching for a volunteer to take on the job of Newsletter Editor. Any volunteers and suggestions are most welcome.

You will find in this issue the highlights of the 31st Meeting of the EC, held in Paris on July 4th, with Prof. Jean-Claude Guinot, University of Paris VI, serving as host under rather difficult circumstances, for the meeting coincided with the vacating of most of the buildings of the Jussieu campus, where various university faculties are located. The vacating was motivated by the need to clean those buildings of asbestos. The outcome was that the only room available for our meeting was in the top floor of the tallest building of the campus, with an excellent view of Paris. The downside was that Prof. Tian Huang, of Tianjin University (China-Beijing), who attended as an observer to bid for the venue of the 11th World Congress, could not have access to an overhead projector for his presentation. Nevertheless, Prof. Huang succeeded in conveying his message, which was enthusiastically received by the EC. Besides, you will find entries of the Chairs of the PCs History and Standardization of Terminology, and items related to TMM21. You will also find an entry on Y2K--if this doesn't ring a bell, please read further down--which should be of interest to a broad sector of our readership. Professor Leinonen, General Chair of the 10th World Congress on TMM, reports on the excellent response to his Call for Papers. Judging from this response, the 10th World Congress will be extremely well attended.

I take this opportunity to thank our official translators of the multilingual part of the Newsletter: Dr. Jean-Pierre Merlet, of INRIA at Sophia-Antipolis, France; Ms. Svetlana Ostrovskaya, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada; and Prof. Christoph Woernle, of Rostock University, Germany. Likewise, I take the opportunity to thank Dr. Leonid Slutski for his translation into Russian of the President's speech at IMash, included in this issue, and the Associate Editor, Ms. Irène Cartier, who has been instrumental, since the inception of the Newsletter, in its production.

We wish you a happy reading and all the best for the upcoming holidays!

Jorge Angeles, Editor

Highlights of the 31st Meeting of the EC

Besides the usual business handled during this meeting, held in Paris on July 4, 1998, the organization of the 10th World Congress and the proposal for the 11th World Congress were extensively discussed. An entry is completely devoted to the 10th World Congress. A bid for the hosting of the 11th World Congress was presented by Prof. Tian Huang, Tianjin University (China-Beijing.) The proposal suggests holding the 11th World Congress on August 28-31, 2003, in Tianjin. It should be stressed that Tianjin University boasts the largest department of Mechanical Engineering in China, and features an oustanding activity in TMM. Tianjin is located within 100 km east of Beijing, making with this city and a main spot of the Great Wall an approximately equilateral triangle. One more highlight is Dr. J.-P. Merlet's proposal on the creation of an electronic journal on Computational Kinematics. Details are included below.

Submitted by Prof. T. Leinonen, University of Oulu, Finland
IFToMM Secretary-General

The 10th World Congress on TMM

We are pleased to report that 758 abstracts were submitted in response to our Call for Papers, mostly by member committees, with some abstracts submitted directly to the OC.

Distribution of Abstracts by Member Committee or Country

Algeria, 1; Armenia, 11; Australia, 5; Austria, 7; Azerbaijan, 6; Belarus, 30; Belgium, 4; Brazil, 5; Bulgaria, 1; Canada, 21; China-Beijing, 70; China-Taipei, 30; Croatia, 5; Czech Republic, 11; Estonia, 3; Finland, 8; France, 20; Georgia, 5; Germany, 24; Hungary, 5; India, 16; Iran, 2; Israel, 5; Italy, 19; Japan, 31; Kazakhstan, 5; Korea, 8; Lithuania, 12; Macedonia, 9; Malaysia, 2, Mexico, 8; Moldova, 1; New Zealand, 1; Norway, 1; Pakistan, 10; Poland, 52; Romania, 90; Russia, 59; Singapore, 5; Slovakia, 4; Slovenia, 7; South Africa, 2; Spain, 16; Sweden, 3; The Netherlands, 4; Turkey, 2; Ukraine, 24; United Kingdom, 7; U. S. A., 45; Vietnam, 4; Yugoslavia, 32.

Preliminary Distribution of Abstracts by Topic

Biomechanics, 30; Computational Kinematics, 39; Dynamics of Machines, 81; Experimental Methods, 18; Gearing, 68; History of TMM, 11; Kinematic Analysis and Synthesis of Mechanisms, 118; Linkages and Cams, 52; Man-Machine Systems, 7; Mechatronics, 33; Micromechanisms, 15; Nonlinear Oscillations, 18; Reliability, 32; Robots and Manipulators, 117; Rotor Dynamics, 20; Software Development, 15; Teaching Methods, 5; Transportation Machinery, 18; Tribology, 29; Vibrations and Noise in Machines, 32;
Submitted by Prof. T. Leinonen, University of Oulu, Finland 10th World Congress Chair

Young Delegates Program

Prospective participants, especially those at the beginning of their research careers, are reminded that IFToMM offers a limited number of awards allowing them to attend all IFToMM-sponsored technical meetings, especially the world congresses. We reproduce below the description of this important IFToMM program, as carefully reviewed by Prof. J. K. Davidson, U. S. A., Arizona State University at Tempe, EC Member.

The purpose of the Young Delegates Program is to provide assistance to young scientists and engineers so that they may participate in IFToMM technical conferences. Up to fifty percent of the total cost of registration fees, transportation, board and lodging is available, subject to a maximum of US$500, to participants who are not fully supported by their own institutions. In order to be eligible for support, young scientists and engineers must normally be under 35 years of age and be engaged in work in the field of Machines and Mechanisms. To apply for support, the applicant must write a letter of request to the Chair of his/her Member Committee, who then will forward the letter to the IFToMM Treasurer for a decision. The letter must be received by the Treasurer not less than four months prior to the conference and must include the following information:

  1. the name and date of the conference;
  2. the amount of funds requested;
  3. the reason for participation; and
  4. the source and amount of funds which will cover the costs not to be paid by IFToMM.
The letter of request must be accompanied by:
  1. a curriculum vitae including date of birth;
  2. a letter of recommendation from the Dean or senior person confirming that funds are not available from the home institution to support fully the travel; and
  3. a budget estimate for the total expenses of the participant to attend the conference.
Preferences for funding will be given to countries that have strong need, have not received prior grants under this program, and whose subscriptions are fully paid. Participants who are selected to receive support will be notified at least two months before the technical conference in order to allow adequate time to complete travel arrangements. As of January, 1998 committees on TMM are established in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China-Beijing, China-Taipei, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Vietnam, and Yugoslavia. The chairs of all the member committees, together with their addresses, fax numbers, and, where available, E-mail addresses, are listed in the IFToMM WWW-Home Page

On the Communication Between EC and Committee Members

It appears that there is a problem with the current IFToMM structure: Only one channel of communication exists to each committee member at the EC level. Here I propose a possible solution: Construct a multi-level structure, i.e. instead of having just one principal delegate from each committee member, require each such committee to name a Chair and a Communicating Secretary. This mirrors the IFToMM President/Secretary-General structure and allows for a distinguished national Chair assisted by a more junior and, we hope, more energetic secretary. Prof. K. Waldron, Ohio State University
U. S. A.
Chair, PC Education

Pierre Montagnier-Michau
Mon Dec 7 12:56:06 EST 1998

Standardization of Terminology

I would like to stress my plans to continue the enhancement of IFToMM Terminology, aiming at the publishing of a new edition in early 2000. The IFToMM PC Standardization of Terminology published in 1991, in Vol. 26, No. 5 of Mechanism and Machine Theory, a four-language (English, French, German, and Russian) compilation of terminology on machines and mechanisms. Since then, work has continued in the enhancement of IFToMM Terminology, with the aim of updating and enriching it; similar works in other languages have been produced in individual countries. A stage in the development of our terminology has been completed and, based on this, another one is in the works, in pace with the foreseen developments and challenges of science and technology, as spelled out in Jorge Angeles' ``A Fin-de-Siècle View of TMM'', and the discussion on TMM21 that has been going on in this Newsletter.

With all this in mind, I am herewith kindly inviting your qualified opinions on trends and aims in developing our terminology; other contributions on this subject expressing the opinions of all PCs and TCs, as well as those of all member committees are welcome. In fact, I would like to invite the community at large of all those individuals working in the various aspects of mechanisms and machines to contribute to our forthcoming issue. Please, contact me at the address below: CFR - Romanian State Railways,
Documentation Department,
38 Bvd. Dinicu Golescu,
77113 Bucharest 1, ROMANIA
Tel. ++40-1-638 57 80
Fax: ++40-1-223 07 52
E-mail: tionescu@central.cfr.ro

Dr. Theodor Ionescu, Romania
Chair, PC Standardization of Terminology

Pierre Montagnier-Michau
Mon Dec 7 12:56:06 EST 1998

De Historia Machinarum

Since IFToMM was created in 1969, the IFToMM community has grown up continuously with more and more activities in the field of machines and mechanisms. One of these activities has been the History of TMM. Even in the IFToMM Constitution and By-Laws the topic of History of TMM has been recognized of fundamental importance, with a Permanent Commission being established. The specific mandate of the PC History of TMM is spelled out in the IFToMM 1995 Constitution and By-Laws as ``to work for the preservation and duplication of important literary works, models and teaching aids; to facilitate the republishing of classical works of reference; to collect the basic information concerning the results of technical and scientific meetings in the field of TMM.'' The PC History of TMM has always had the goal to promote the study and research on the history of TMM at large. The first Chair of this PC was Dr. Jack Philips, of Australia, until 1985. His successor, Prof. Elisabeth Filemon, of Hungary, served from 1986 to 1990. Then, Prof. Teun Koetsier, of The Netherlands, took over and served until 1997. Prof. Marco Ceccarelli, of Italy, is the Chair for the period 1998-2001.

The importance of the History of TMM can be recognized not only for the relevance of historical events, but also as a fundamental background for researchers and practicing engineers. Thus, the History of TMM allows us to know the past with the aim to shape the future, by using previous experience. A well documented memory is important, to transmit the past to future generations, so as to promote awareness of technical developments. The human component of the History of TMM is also important, to recognize people and human experience behind technical developments. It should not be forgotten that these developments are due to individuals who lived in a certain context, with ambitions, aspirations and day-to-day problems. Recording these developments and background should give a better appreciation of past efforts and capabilities at large, and recognize real improvements with an eye into future developments.

The past activity in the History of TMM is documented mainly in Mechanism and Machine Theory, the official journal of IFToMM, since its inception in 1966, and in the Proceedings of the World Congress on TMM. The first one took place in 1965, in Zakopane, Poland; the tenth will be held in 1999 in Oulu, Finland. In addition, papers on the History of TMM have appeared also in other journals and have been presented in many other conferences, some of these under the auspices of IFToMM.

Nevertheless, the production of papers on the History of TMM can be considered scarce when compared with that of other fields of TMM and IFToMM Technical Committees. In fact, looking at Mechanism and Machine Theory, one will find rarely a contribution addressing explicitly an issue on the History of TMM. One can count at most two papers per year on the History of TMM. Indeed, most of these papers are mainly concerned with biographies, some of them reviewing past works and very few describing a general context or technical developments. Even in the Proceedings of the World Congress on TMM few papers have been published on the History of TMM, and no more than one dedicated session has been organized. In the last World Congress, held in Milan in 1995, only four papers were presented and half a session on the History of TMM was organized.

It is noteworthy that technical papers, mainly in their Introduction, include historical notes and discussions, which describe the background and previous work on the topic of the paper. However, it is amazing that these retrospectives do not go back more than fifty years; sometimes it seems that current researchers do not know of the technological developments achieved during the Industrial Revolution, which was initiated in the past century.

Therefore, rather than promoting interest, which is persistent and recognized, and initiatives in the field of History of TMM, it is imperative that the History of TMM be recognized as a fundamental discipline in Mechanical Engineering on its own merit. Thus, engineers should work in this field by spelling out the historical background and past experience in dedicated papers and works, without considering the historical issues as marginal, or even not worth a technical paper.

I personally believe that a better knowledge of the past of mechanical engineering at large, and more specifically, of TMM, is fundamental as a means to have a better view for future developments on the design and use of mechanisms and machines. Prof. Marco Ceccarelli,
Chair, PC History of TMM

Y2K NE1?

In the rather remote case that the title of this section doesn't ring a bell, it is not a California licence plate. ``Y2K'' refers, of course, to Year 2000, a.k.a. the Millennium bug, ``NE1?'' being, what else, shorthand for any one? Here we update you on the issues around this matter.

As Capers Jones (1997) puts it, Y2K is not the only global crisis in numbering systems that the information-technology industry will have to face rather soon. There are others, like those provoked by: (a) the introduction of the euro on January 1, 1999; (b) the GPS (Global Positioning System) rollover, for the GPS records dates based on the number of weeks elapsed from midnight on 5 January 1980, modulo 1024, but the 1024th week will occur on 21 August 1999, when the week counter will be reset to 0000; (c) the leap-year quandary, caused by the rule of compensating for the difference between the calendar year and the astronomical year, which is not exactly equal to 365.25 days, and requires adjustments with three different periods, namely, 4 years, 100 years, and 400 years; (d) the date representation in Unix and C libraries, which is based on the number of seconds elapsed since January 1, 1970, to which Unix assigns a field that will be exhausted after 2.147483647 seconds, i.e., at 3:14:07 a.m. (GMT) of January 19, 2038; and many others.

Countries seem to be taking provisions to guard against crises like power shutdowns, failure of cash-dispensing machines, and so on, come the year 2000. As reported by Canada's The Globe and Mail on October 27, 1998, the Canadian Armed Forces are setting up a plan to cope with all kinds of possible scenarios, that include civil riots caused by a lack of essential services. Various countries are also keeping old bank notes, that they would normally destroy, in case the population, foreseeing a failure in the computer systems of their bank, withdraw large amounts of cash prior to January 1, 2000.

One more item along these lines is the imminent arrival of 2001, that Arthur C. Clark foresaw in his story that became the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, as the culmination of computer technology embodied in HAL. In this story, HAL, the computer on board Discovery, the space vessel travelling on a mission to Jupiter, decides to take command and destroy the human crew because the mission ``was too important to be left to humans.'' According to a review of Clark's prophecies (Stork, 1997), we are still far from achieving a thinking computer, but chances are that we will be able to see such a computer within 25 years. Whether this is the case, only time will tell. Stay tuned.


  • Jones, C., 1998, ``Bad days for software,'' IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 35, No. 9, pp. 47-52.
  • Stork, D. G. (editor), 1997, Hal's Legacy. 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality, The MIT Press, Cambridge (MA).
  • Microsoft, ``2001: A Space Odyssey,'' Microsoft Cinemania 97, 0896 PART No. 90731, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA.


A few ideas on the long-term evolution of TMM follow:

  1. TMM should be taught in technical universities as a compulsory subject on its own merit, as a fundamental discipline of general technical interest.
  2. It is necessary to modernize and continuously adjust the contents of TMM courses according with the requirements and the evolution of the technology at the beginning of the new millennium, regarding:
    the use of dedicated software;
    a strong relantionship with automation, control theory, and other disciplines, that together have led to the development of mechatronics.
  3. TMM should be inscribed within the General Theory of Systems.
  4. The development of subjects such as
    the theory of the quality of machines and mechanisms;
    the certification of mechanisms and machines;
    data bases pertaining to mechanism and machine marketing;
    mechanical signature of systems.

Regarding the future activity of the IFToMM Task Force on TMM21, all member committees should report on the present and the long-term situation of the teaching of TMM in their own geographical area.

Attending the request appeared in the IFToMM Newsletter issue of December, 1997, the Romanian Committee, ARoMTMM, agrees with the proposal of introducing the position of Vice-Chair in each IFToMM PC and TC. In case a Past Chair has been successful in his or her role, he or she could become Vice-Chair, thereby transferring his or her experience to the new Chair. Submitted by Prof. I. Tempea, Romania
Chair, ARoMTMM

An IFToMM by Any Other Name...

What's in a name? that which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet;

Shakespeare, W., 1594, Romeo and Juliet,
Act II, Scene II

Regarding the change of the name of IFToMM, we do not agree with the names that include the term ``technology.'' We consider that, by including this term, the scope of IFToMM is limited. In Romanian, ``technology'' refers to the procedures concerning a narrow field of activity. In French, we have Technologie: Etude des outils, des procédés et des méthodes employés dans diverses branches de l'industrie (Nouveau Petit Larousse, 1969.) In English, Technology: Applied science; a technical methode of achieving a practical purpose; the means employed to provide objects for human sustenance and comfort. (Webster's New Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1996.)

Because our activity involves also fundamental research, we consider that the term Technology, which supposes only practical applications, leaves research out.

We therefore propose one of the following names:

  • International Federation for the Theory of Machines, Mechanisms, and Mechatronics (IFToMMM), or
  • International Federation for the Theory of Machines and Mechatronics (IFToMM)

We favor the inclusion of the word mechanisms within IFToMM's name, this being an argument for keeping the discipline in the university syllabus. Prof. I. Tempea, Romanica
Chair, ARoMTMM
Institutul Politechnic Bucuresti, Romania

Below is included a summary of the discussions held among various members of the EC, during the 31st Meeting of the IFToMM Executive Council in Paris on July 4th, 1998, on the issue of the IFToMM name.

I recommend to keep the name of IFToMM for the following reasons:

IFToMM is somehow a trade mark like, for example, FIAT. IFToMM identifies and indicates a scientific and professional competence in the wide field of mechanisms and mechanical systems at large. FIAT was originally an acronym for ``Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili di Torino'' and refers only to automobiles, since this was the sole product of the company in its beginnings. However, FIAT is no longer an Italian but a multinational corporation, with plants not only in Turin, but all around the world, and with automobiles representing but a fraction of its line of products. The company, nevertheless, keeps its name, but does not attach any meaning to it. This is the case of many other big multinational corporations that have undergone radical changes over the years, but that have kept their name for reasons of name-recognition.

The need to update the scope of the IFToMM activities can be better satisfied than through a name change, mainly through the activities of the Permanent Commissions and Technical Committees. This has already been recognized within the EC, when it was proposed to change the PC Conferences into a PC Communication, with an enlarged mandate. This updating should be like what FIAT does with its divisions of automobiles, trucks, missiles, locomotives, and so on, which covers all its interests. Thus, the prominence of the word ``Theory'' can be overcome by assigning suitable names to the Committees and Commissions, thereby reflecting better the up-to-date scope of their activities.

One more motivation for keeping the IFToMM name can be also found in that our community is well identified from a historical viewpoint, since the name ``Theory of Machines and Mechanisms'' goes back to the beginning of the past century, with the first courses on the subject at Paris' Ecole Polytechnique. In addition, it is noteworthy that even then the subject was developed not only from a theoretical viewpoint, but great attention was given to the practice of engineering. A name change can produce a big confusion now and in the future among the individuals and communities that interact with the IFToMM community. This is true for the case of historical studies. Indeed, a change of the name cannot be accepted only due to a current fashion, since this will create ambiguity in the identity of personalities and historical developments. Note that every twenty years, approximately, new activity fields can be added to the IFToMM TCs.

In conclusion, my personal opinion is to keep the name of IFToMM, which is our trade mark, but to update the number, name, goals and activities of the IFToMM Permanent Commissions and Technical Committees. Prof. Marco Ceccarelli, Chair PC History of TMM
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università di Cassino, Italy

In view of the invaluable input received so far on this matter, I have concluded that the way to go is to leave IFToMM as our trade mark, but calling ourselves IFToMM International, with the purpose of stressing the idea that IFToMM is not an accronym, but our trade mark; in other words, ``IFToMM'' can be regarded as a given name (as in most Western countries), ``International'' as a family name. A descriptive legend can be attached to this name, which would summarize IFToMM's mission, as follows:

IFToMM International
The International Federation for the Promotion and Furthering of R & D Activities in Machines and Mechanisms

Unless I receive strong opinions against this change within the next three months, I will submit this item within a package of constitutional changes that I am preparing for discussion in the upcoming General Assembly, to be held in Oulu, during the 10th World Congress on TMM. Jorge Angeles, President

IMash - IMash

IMash, Moscow's Institute for Machinery Research, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was established in 1938. Its first director until 1952 was Academician E.A. Chudakov. In 1978, the Institute was named in honour of Academician A.A. Blagonravov, its second director. Academician K.V. Frolov is its current third director.

Outstanding schools led by Academicians I.I. Artobolevskii, N.G.\ Bruevich, Yu.N. Rabotnov, and Professors A.E. Kobrinsky, V.I.\ Sergeev, I.V. Kragel'sky, and many others, developed during the first sixty years of IMash. IMash has developed various directions of Mechanical Engineering research, namely,

structural, kinematic and dynamic analyses of machines and machine systems;
synthesis of machines and machine systems;
development of reliable machines and systems;
development of low-noise machines and systems;
human and machine protection from vibration;
tribology and wear reduction in machines and equipment;
solutions of technological problems of machine-production.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of IMash, Jorge Angeles was invited to participate in the festivities, that included an international research conference, from November 11 to 13, 1998, in Moscow. The festivities culminated with a gala session at the House of the Scientist, in downtown Moscow. A highlight of this session was the conferring of a Dr.h.c. degree to Academician Frolov by Vienna-based The International University's President, Prof. Wil C.\ Goodher.

Below we reproduce, in both English and Russian, the speech pronounced (in English) by Jorge Angeles during the opening session of the conference.

Dear colleagues of IMash,
Dear colleagues of the Russian Committee for TMM:

It is my great pleasure and an extraordinary honor to greet you personally on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of IMash, a research institute that has played a unique role in the development of the Theory of Machines and Mechanisms in the 20th Century. Not only this; through its leadership and its sustained support to IFToMM, IMash has played a global role in bringing together researchers from all over the world within the IFToMM community.

May I just highlight the rise and growth of TMM in this century, that is due in no small measure to the work of giants like Chebyshev, probably the founder of the Russian school of TMM, Artobolevskii, and Kobrinsky, to name but a few. It should not be forgotten that Academician Artobolevskii was a strong promoter of TMM at a global scale, his efforts having led, in 1969, to the formal establishment of IFToMM as a learned society. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Academician Artobolevskii for this great initiative, and thank Professor Bessonov for his leadership within the Russian Committee of TMM. I also want to pay a tribute to Academician Frolov for his support of the TMM activities in Russia and for bridging the gap between East and West by promoting international collaboration and exchange of information.

But the world has changed since Chebyshev's years, and TMM has evolved accordingly. Current technological changes being promoted mostly by Moore's law, according to which the number of elements in advanced integrated circuits doubles every year, have provoked the feeling among many sectors of the TMM community at large that TMM is being threatened to the point that it risks becoming irrelevant. My own opinion, and the opinion that I have been able to collect from many researchers active in TMM, is that TMM's role in technological innovation has undergone dramatic changes, and needs a continuous review in light of the current technological developments. I am sure that the leadership provided by IMash in the development of TMM will be maintained in the 21st century and beyond, and will be a major player in the shaping of TMM in the years to come.

To close, may I wish IMash, its Director, and its scientific and administrative staff all the best on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of this worldclass institute. Long live IMash and TMM! Jorge Angeles, President

Books, Journals, and Theses

Computational Methods in Mechanical Systems

Angeles, J. and Zakhariev, E., 1998, Computational Methods in Mechanical Systems. Mechanism Analysis, Synthesis, and Optimization, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

The chapters of this book summarize the invited lectures delivered during the NATO Advanced Study Institute (ASI) on Computational Methods in Mechanisms, that took place in the Sts. Constantin and Elena Resort, near Varna, in the Bulgarian Coast of the Black Sea, on June 16-28, 1997. The purpose of the ASI was to bring together leading researchers in the area of mechanical systems at large, with special emphasis on the computational issues around their analysis, synthesis, and optimization, during two weeks of lectures and discussion. A total of 90 participants from 23 countries played an active role during the lectures and sessions of contributed papers.

The subject of the book is mechanical systems, i.e., systems composed of rigid and flexible bodies, coupled by mechanical means so as to constrain their various bodies in a goal-oriented manner, usually driven under computer control. Applications of the discipline cover a rich spectrum, from transportation systems to biomedical devices. Under normal operation conditions, the constitutive bodies of a mechanical system can be considered to be rigid, the rigidity property then easing dramatically the analysis of the kinematics and dynamics of the system at hand. Examples of these systems are the suspension of a terrestrial vehicle negotiating a curve at speeds within the allowed or recommended limits and the links of multiaxis industrial robots performing conventional pick-and-place operations. Many an application, however, calls for an analysis that considers the flexibility of the various links, as is the case in light devices like the solar panels of a satellite undergoing a reorientation maneuver, or the body of a high-speed train experiencing a collision. The correct operation of systems like those mentioned above, which are set to work under increasingly demanding conditions, calls for increasingly detailed and accurate analyses both at the design stage and when driven under computer control. Hence the need to review the state of the art in areas pertaining to the mechanics of multibody systems.

The book is intended to cover a broad scope of computational issues in multibody-system mechanics, from the kinematics fundamentals to applications such as motion-simulator design and crashworthiness evaluation by simulation means. The book is divided into three parts: Kinematics of Mechanical Systems; Dynamics and Control of Rigid-Body Systems; and Dynamics of Flexible Multibody Systems.

The reader will find review chapters on topics such as optimization of multi-degree-of-freedom mechanisms, with classical and modern techniques, and on the dynamics of mechanical systems with flexible bodies. Besides, chapters on elimination techniques based on computer-algebra software in the realm of computational kinematics, as well as on design techniques, are included. Advanced software for design and simulation is introduced in some chapters.

La CAO en robotique. Outils et méthodologies

Chedmail, P., Dombre, E. et Wenger, P., La CAO en robotique. Outils et méthodologies, Édition Hermès, Paris, 1998.

Entre la première édition de l'ouvrage pionnier de Philippe Coiffet en 1981 et celui-ci, la robotique a connu un progrès considérable. Née vers la fin des années soixante et reconnue très vite comme technologie d'intérêt industriel, la robotique a incontestablement atteint sa maturité. Il faut souligner que les progrès de la robotique n'auraient pas pu être ráalisés sans le concours d'un outil remarquable qui a fêté son 25ème anniversaire en 1996 : le microprocesseur. À l'heure actuelle, la résolution du modèle géométrique inverse des robots sériels en temps réel ne constitue plus un problème majeur pour le roboticien. D'autre part, la robotique a connu une explosion de travaux sur les robots parallèles, leur modèle géométrique direct étant maîtrisé à l'heure actuelle comme l'était le modèle géométrique inverse des robots sériels il y a une dizaine d'années. Voici un échantillon des progrès en robotique à la fin du 20e siècle.

Une attestation de l'état de maturité atteint par la robotique est sans doute la parution du livre de MM. Chedmail, Dombre et Wenger, qui porte sur une gamme de thèmes spécialisés dans ce domaine, tout en mettant l'accent sur les applications en productique. Certes, la robotique trouve aujourd'hui des applications dans d'autres domaines comme la médecine, la sécurite publique, l'exploration sous-marine et interplanetaire, etc. Cet ouvrage est le produit des années de recherche réalisées à l'Institut de Recherche en Cybernetique de Nantes (anciennement Laboratoire d'Automatique de Nantes) et au Laboratoire d'Informatique, de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier. Les trois auteurs ont mené des études portant sur la topologie de l'espace de travail des manipulateurs, très importante dans la conception des robots, sur l'optimisation des robots et des sites robotisés, et sur la simulation et la modélisation des systèmes robotiques, que le lecteur pourra trouver ici traitées d'une faon approfondie. Une partie de l'ouvrage est dediée aux logiciels destinés à ce que l'on appelle aujourd'hui la CAO Robotique.

Du point de vue du contenu et du niveau des thèmes, ce livre-ci est unique non seulement dans la littérature technique en langue française, mais aussi au sens large. Aucun livre n'existe sur le marché couvrant les thèmes étudiés ici avec cette profondeur. En dehors des aspects théoriques, le lecteur plus interessé aux applications pourra trouver ici des techniques de conception testées en milieu industriel ainsi que des informations assez larges sur le marché des logiciels en CAO Robotique. Voici un livre que le chercheur et l'ingénieur roboticien trouveront utile tant à l'heure actuelle que dans l'avenir.

Mechatronik. Komponenten-Methoden-Beispiele

Heimann, B., Gerth, W., und Popp, K., 1998, Mechatronik. Komponenten-Methoden-Beispiele, Carl Hanser Verlag, München. Dieses Lehrbuch ist in Niveau und Stoffumfang auf das Studium an Universitäten, Technischen Hochschulen und Fachhochschulen ausgerichtet und wendet sich vor allem an Studierende des Maschinenbaus, der Elektrotechnik bzw. Elektronik und der Informatik.

Im Vordergrund der Darstellung steht eine möglichst einheitliche Beschreibung der Methoden zur Analyse mechatronischer Systeme und der verschiedenen Komponenten zu ihrer Synthese. Die Darstellung enthält Beiträge zur Sensorik und Aktorik, zur Signal-und Prozeß datenverarbeitung sowie zur Modellbildung und Regelung mechatronischer Systeme.

Kinematics, Dynamics, and Design of Machinery

Waldron, K. J. and Kinzel, G. L., 1999, Kinematics, Dynamics, and Design of Machinery, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.

The community of TMM instructors will find this brand new book a valuable addition to the bibliography on kinematics and dynamics of machines, with an orientation towards machine design. The book covers a broad spectrum of topics, from the graphical analysis of planar linkages to the algebraic analysis of spatial linkages, including robotic mechanisms of the serial and parallel types. Cams and gears are also given due attention. One chapter on static force analysis, one on dynamic force analysis and one of shaking forces and balancing complete the spectrum of topics normally included in the mechanical engineering curriculum.

Among the special features of this book we can cite: the several real-world problems ranging from well-established applications to high-end systems like the Adaptive Suspension Vehicle, that was designed and developed under Prof. Waldron's direction; the support of MATLAB for the solution of realistic problems; and the unique balance of both graphical and algebraic methods of solution. While the book does not include computer code, it does include a CD-ROM with a library of functions written in MATLAB to perform many of the computations in the text. The CD-ROM also includes downloadable copies of all the figures in the text, as well as supplementary problem sets for most chapters.

Electronic Journal of Computational Kinematics

Computational Kinematics, or CompuKin for brevity, is a new, all-electronic, peer-reviewed journal sponsored by IFToMM, that welcomes papers of high standards that contribute new information and new insights to computational kinematics and its applications.

We understand here under Computational Kinematics that branch of kinematics research involving intensive computations not only of the numerical type, but also of a symbolic or geometric nature. Communication among researchers in this area must include more than a summary of results or a discussion of methods; the actual code and data obtained with it are of critical importance. Many an algorithm published over the last ten years has never been implemented by anyone beyond its author(s) and are at risk of remaining theoretical ``curiosities.'' To bring such algorithms into the practical realm often requires a considerable investment of resources.

CompuKin aims at combining the high quality, wide availability, and archival value of traditional research journals with the speed and economy of electronic distribution. Accordingly, CompuKin seeks high-quality, sound, original papers of interest to the scientific and engineering communities. The work should have not been previously published, and neither should it be schedule for publication in another journal; submissions cannot be under review by any other forum. We will, however, publish work that has previously been reported in conferences or workshops. If the work has appeared in a conference, we require that the submission substantially extend the conference paper.

The journal is essentially of unlimited size. Therefore, we have no restrictions on paper length. Information networks, multimedia developments, and current communication technologies dictate the format of research publications. We want to exploit these features, while keeping the essential aspects of archival journals to guarantee the rigour and reliability of the review and publication processes. We will thus incorporate the features that electronic, tridimensional, instantaneous, and animated media offer. The full use of the features of current media will be therefore encouraged, which include computer animation (possibly interactive) through the Web, possibility of free software downloading, interactive use of software packages, etc. Updates of previously published papers are anticipated, with each update being refereed. In-progress papers should thus be completed with much less effort from the authors and substantially reduced waiting times to publication. Reviewers and readers should benefit from these features. We will encourage online discussions of papers as well as the submission of open problems, items that are as vital to the community as the formal publication process itself. If you wish to contribute technical comments on our papers, please E-mail your comments to the Editor. Special care will be given to the acknowledgement of past contributions.

Once a year the Editorial Board of CompuKin will grant ``Best Paper'' awards to published papers which make the best use of the computer media while presenting outstanding research results.

We are obviously aware of the peer-review issues: CompuKin intends to be quickly recognized as one of the leading journals in its field, thereby attracting high-quality papers. One of the roles of the Editorial Board of CompuKin will be to give a high visibility to this journal.

Papers are submitted electronically--see ``Submission Information''--and will be published on-line without charge to either readers or authors. We expect to be able to publish papers within one week of final acceptance, provided that a duly signed copyright form--see ``Copyright''--has been received from the authors. Our editorial process will be expedited to the fullest extent possible, in order to achieve our goal of rapid dissemination of work of the highest quality in the field of computational kinematics. Paper-reviewing follows the usual format, with at least three reviewers by paper, and is conducted electronically.

Submitting a Manuscript to CompuKin

Manuscripts should be submitted either by electronic mail or by ftp. Three type of formats will be accepted:

html: this will be the preferred format, as it enables the full use of the computer as a medium. Note that papers written in LaTeX may be translated into html using latex2html and that most text editors provide now ways to save files into html format. This html file should be Netscape-compatible.

LaTeX: although no guidelines will be provided, papers using non-standard styles will not be accepted. The author will be asked to provide a stand-alone file. Figures will be provided in Postscript and should be included in the LaTeX file by using any of the commonly-accepted formats, e.g. epsfig. The editors reserve the right of converting a paper submitted in LaTeX format to html format using latext2html; it will therefore be the responsibility of the author to make sure that such a conversion is possible before submitting a paper.

Postscript: this format will be acceptable only if it has been verified that the file can be displayed using the free Postscript previewer ghostview.

Every paper submission should begin with the electronic mail address of the author to contact for revisions, corrections, and any other pertinent information about the status of the paper. This submission should be sent to


Once the manuscript is received, it is assigned to a member of the Editorial Board, who will send the manuscript for refereeing. Questions regarding the status of the manuscript can be sent to the above E-mail address. Posting of papers will be immediate following acceptance and receipt of a signed copyright agreement-see ``Copyright.''

Paper Presentation

The head of the proposed paper should begin with the paper title, author(s) name(s), affiliation(s), and E-mail address of the author to contact. This head will be followed by a short abstract and no more than ten keywords.

  • Paper title: Should be written in boldface fonts.
  • Author(s): Names should be separated with a comma (,), which precludes the use of a comma as part of a name. One of the above authors should be the designated contact author. This is the author with whom the journal will correspond throughout the review and publication process.
  • Affiliation: Should include the full postal address of the author(s).
  • E-mail address: Only the E-mail address of the contact author should be included.
  • Abstract: Should be written in italic fonts and should not exceed 100 words.
  • Keywords: A list of up to 10 keywords, in boldface font, should be included. The list should be ordered alphabetically
  • Instructions for the contact author: When submitting a paper the contact author should indicate his or her surface and electronic addresses as well as the telephone number where this author can be reached during business hours, and a fax number, the last two items containing international and national codes.
  • Information for Referees: Referees will be contacted by E-mail to ensure their availability and readiness to review a manuscript for CompuKin within the required time period. A quick response is essential, with the journal reserving the right to find alternative referees if a reply is not received within one week.

In order to speed up the reviewing process, referees may be required to download manuscripts from our FTP space and upload their amendments to it. Please E-mail the Editor upon receipt or return of a manuscript by this method. Alternatively, at the referees' request, CompuKin will execute file transfers to and from a server at the referee's location, if this proves to be easier.

The names of the referees who authorize the journal to make their names available to the authors will be disclosed to the latter.

When reviewing manuscripts, referees should assess if the manuscript is fit for publication based on (a) its international scope and interest and (b) its archival value in a worldclass journal. Referees should pay particular attention to the items below:

whether the title and abstract adequately convey the contents of the manuscript, with titles limited to ten words

the adequacy of the list of keywords

the acknowledgement of previous pertinent work, as per the reference citations

the substantiation of any referee's claim by means of a counterexample or a cited reference


CompuKin will not own the copyright to any work it publishes. Instead, it wil secure permission from the authors to publish and distribute submitted and peer-reviewed work, with the authors retaining the copyright of their work. CompuKin will also secure permission to grant limited rights to its readers. More specifically, of all the rights held by the creators of the work, the creators will grant a subset to CompuKin, while CompuKin will grant a further subset to the readers.

Before publication of any work, CompuKin will receive the statement below duly signed from the authors:


Permission to Use Submitted Work I author (and acting as agent for any co-authors) of the paper certify that this paper reports original work conducted by me and my coauthors, if any, and that I have not assigned the copyright of this work to anyone. I also certify that this work neither has been published nor is under consideration for publication elsewhere.

This certification and the agreement below applies to all original work submitted by me to CompuKin, regardless of the media or form in which the work was submitted, including printed and electronic documents as well as video, audio, and haptic simulations, along with the computer code explicitly written for purposes of this paper.

I give permission to Computational Kinematics to use my copyrighted work as follows:

Reproduction: CompuKin may post my paper on its Web site and identical mirror sites which may be established in the future. CompuKin will allow all readers of the site to read, download, and print copies of the paper for their own use in research and education. Readers of CompuKin will not be allowed to repost papers originating in CompuKin. I also grant CompuKin, but not the readers of its WWW site, permission to re-publish the work in a collection of works by all means and media now known or hereafter discovered, including without limitation, print, microform, and CD-ROM.

Modification: I retain all rights to modify the work, while granting CompuKin the right to modify the electronic format of the work for purposes of effective distribution in a way that does not alter the content of the work.

Distribution: CompuKin may distribute the work through any electronic means; I further grant CompuKin the right to distribute the work as part of a re-published collection by all means and media now known or hereafter discovered, including without limitation, print, microform, and CD-ROM.

Public Display: CompuKin may display and transmit the work on its Web site.

I grant these rights EXCLUSIVELY to CompuKin with the following exceptions: I retain the right to contribute all or portions of the work to a collection or derivative work published by another publisher or organization. I retain the right to post this paper on a WWW site maintained by me under the condition that the posting contain the following statement with a link to the CompuKin WWW Home Page:

This paper is published in Computational Kinematics-An Electronic Journal

If the WWW address of the CompuKin Web site changes, the author will update the pointer included in his or her positing to the current one.

These exceptions shall not restrict any of the rights granted to CompuKin above.

I understand that I may not submit this paper to another journal for publication. I may re-use material from this paper in other papers or works that I create, but no more than 50% of the material in this paper may be reproduced in any single work, and such items that are reproduced must bear the attribution that follows: ``Used with permission of Computational Kinematics-An Electronic Journal''. This agreement constitutes permission for use as described above.

All requests from third parties for permission to reprint material from CompuKin will be referred to the Author. I retain all other rights to the work.

Signed (author)


Also CompuKin will post the following policy statement for its readers:


Terms of Use of Information Published in CompuKin

The papers in CompuKin are used by permission of the authors, who retain copyrights to their works. As a reader of CompuKin you have the following rights:

You may read and download the papers in your computer

You may printout a copy for your own use in research or teaching

You may print any number of copies for distribution to students in a class

You may not do any of the following without permission from the authors of the paper:

  • Modify the papers
  • Re-post, broadcast, transmit, or publish the papers in any electronic or non-electronic form except for classroom use as stated above.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Merlet, INRIA Sophia-Antipolis, France
Chair, TC Computational Kinematics

Domaines d'Unicité et Parcourabilité pour les Manipulateurs Pleinement Parallèles

Chablat, D., 1998, Domaines d'unicité et Parcourabilité pour les Manipulateurs Pleinement Parallèles, Thèse de Doctorat, École Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France.

Cette thèse présente des résultats intéressants pour l'analyse de l'espace de travail effectif des robots parallèles, pour la gestion de la commande et pour la planification de trajectoires. Il s'agit d'un problème difficile, qui a été très peu abordé dans la littérature alors qu'il est très important dans la pratique. Cette thèse combine harmonieusement une approche rigoureuse du point de vue mathématique, une implantation informatique des algorithmes et une bonne compréhension des problèmes de la robotique.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Merlet, INRIA Sophia-Antipolis, France
Chair, TC Computational Kinematics

Conception et Optimisation de Mécanismes Parallèles à Mobilités Restreintes

Leguay-Durand, S., 1998, Conception et Optimisation de Mécanismes Parallèles à Mobilités Restreintes, Thèse de Doctorat, École Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, Toulouse, France.

La majorité des robots manipulateurs que l'on trouve dans l'industrie possède une structure de chaîne simple et ouverte, souvent qualifiée de structure série. Ce type de robot, largement éprouvé, offre l'avantage d'un grand domaine de travail mais présente un certain nombre de défauts parmi lesquels on peut citer:

le manque de rigidité, qui rend ces structures inadaptées à des travaux de précision ou demandant une grande rapidité d'exécution.
une architecture en série, qui impose que chaque élément de la chaîne supporte tous les éléments en aval, ce qui explique que l'ensemble soit souvent massif et réclame des motorisations très puissantes,

C'est pour pallier ces inconvénients que l'on porte, depuis une quinzaine d'années, un intérêt croissant à de nouvelles structures de type parallèle, où les éléments cinématiques ne forment plus une chaîne ouverte mais arborescente entre le socle et l'organe terminal du robot. Une telle structure est souvent obtenue en mettant en parallèle plusieurs chaînes cinématiques série, faisant ainsi apparaître des boucles fermées. Ayant tous leurs actionneurs en parallèle, chaque élément ne supporte que son inertie, conférant à la structure des qualités de précision (insertion, suivi de contour, ...) et de rapidité (conditionnement, découpe,...). Toutefois, ce gain se fait au détriment du volume de travail souvent plus réduit. Les applications ne sont donc pas les mêmes pour ces deux types de robots, les manipulateurs parallèles répondant souvent à des problèmes complexes et spécifiques.

Par ailleurs, on a récemment découvert que la mise en parallèle de plusieurs chaînes cinématiques indépendantes, possédant chacune un nombre restreint de degrés de liberté, aboutissait parfois à des mécanismes dotés de propriétés étonnantes, comme le montrent plusieurs systèmes étudiés à l'ONERA-DCSD (robot Speed-R-Man, syntaxeur à retour d'effort, robot cylindrique). De là est né le sujet de la présente thèse. Il s'agit essentiellement de mettre en uvre des méthodes de conception de manipulateurs parallèles, ainsi que d'élaborer de nouvelles méthodes d'analyse adaptées au problème.