This paper covers the following areas: all practical and typical kinematic input pairs used in a single-loop spatial linkage mechanism (SSLM) are classified using a new symbolic system; four basic groups of SSLMs are defined; and a new kinematic structure classification criterion is proposed, which provides a method to determine the maximum finite number of closures for the mechanism and the maximum order of the input-output displacement equation, free of extraneous roots, describing the kinematics of the SSLMs.

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