Welcome to the MIT - PERG Kinematic Couplings Website


This website is an information repository pertaining to research in kinematic couplings (KC's) conducted at MIT. Research is currently in progress at the Precision Engineering Research Group (PERG), under the direction of Prof. Alexander Slocum, and the Precision Systems Design and Manufacturing Group (PSDAM), under the direction of Prof. Martin Culpepper.

Kinematic couplings are precision-machined mechanical contacts used to precisely locate components with respect to each other. In the measurement and instrumentation fields, kinematic couplings (KCs) have been widely used as a method to create precise and repeatable interfaces on a variety of devices, such as optical lenses and probe mounts. Recently, KCs have been attempted in industrial environments on equipment such as engine motors and industrial robots.

On this website, technical documents are presented describing the basic KC types, the design process, several case studies, and many tools than can be used to design new interfaces. These documents and tools are intended to further collaboration between academic researchers and industry sponsors on current and future projects.

We welcome additional industrial partners joining in a collaborative consortium for sharing KC design experiences and project implementation knowledge.  We intend for this website to be used as a design portal, with future implementations of interactive kinematic couplings analysis tools.


Please e-mail Prof. Slocum for more information.


The following pages are currently available:

  • About KC's - General description of KCs and their use.
  • Design Process - Relatively formalized design procedure for implementing KCs.
  • Documents - Links to all documents on the webpage, including patent documents, student theses, published papers, and presentations.
  • Tools - Spreadsheets and mathematic codes for solving some of the common KC forms.
  • Case Studies - Several in-depth descriptions of the application of KCs by Prof. Slocum and his students.
  • References - Detailed list of references useful for precision design as well as KC design.

Some sponsors of MIT KC research are:

Defense Logistics Agency Industrial Capabilities Division
DLA-J339, Fort Belvoir VA 22060