Binary actuators have only two discrete states (denoted ‘0’ and ‘1’), both of which are stable without feedback. As a result, binary mechanisms and manipulators have a finite number of states. Major benefits of binary actuation are that extensive feedback control is not required, task repeatability can be very high, and two-state actuators are generally very inexpensive (e.g., solenoids, pneumatic cylinders, etc.), thus resulting in low cost robotic mechanisms. This paper presents a new paradigm for robotics based on binary actuation, and develops algorithms for the synthesis of binary manipulators and mechanisms for discrete tasks such as pick-and-place operations. It is shown that the binary manipulator design problem can be cast as a standard inverse kinematics problem.

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