• parallel kinematics machine
  • reconfigurable translational/spherical robot
  • reconfigurable spherical joint


A reconfigurable robot is a machine capable of different kinematic behaviours without significan modifications of its structure. This feature can be exploited to increase the flexibility of the machine with respect to the production processes that could require different dexterity or mobility capacities during the same task. The reconfiguration, or change of mobility, usually takes place either by the passage through a bifurcation point of the kinematics, which very often coincides with a singular point of the work-space, or by a local and controlled reconfiguration of the joint topology. In the first case, the robot will be subject to a temporary singularity that could compromise its mechanical integrity. In the latter, a special mechanical device is required that is able to carry out the necessary reconfiguration of the joints.

Over the last few years, the Machine Mechanics research group analysed the behaviour of parallel kinematics machines, highlighting in some cases their reconfigurability capacities. In a couple of cases (such as the reconfigurable 3-URU robot), this peculiarity has been exploited to design innovative devices, such as the reconfigurable ball joint, capable of exhibiting pure rotation motions or, vice versa, pure translational motions. In this field, the research also reached the mechanical design and prototyping stage of the devices necessary for reconfiguration. Two different kinematic structures, together with the general concept for the realization of the reconfiguration device, have been registered by a patent.


  • Callegari, M., Carbonari, L., Palmieri, G., Palpacelli, M. “Robot a cinematica parallela di tipo riconfigurabile”, Brevetto n° 0001416031 (18/5/2015)
  • Palpacelli, M.-C. , Carbonari, L. , Palmieri, G. (2015) Analysis and Design of a Reconfigurable 3-DoF Parallel Manipulator for Multimodal Tasks IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
  • Carbonari, L. , Corinaldi, D. , Palpacelli, M. (2018) A novel reconfigurable 3-URU parallel platform  Mechanisms and Machine Science