, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 297-315

Configuration Spaces of Mechanical Linkages

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We present an easy to survey constructive method using only basic mathematics which allows us to define a homeomorphism between any compact real algebraic variety and some components of the configuration space of a mechanical linkage. The aim is to imitate addition and multiplication in the framework of weighted graphs in the euclidean plane that permit a ``mechanical description'' of polynomial functions, and thus of varieties.

{\it Received August\/} 26, 1997, {\it and in revised form June\/} 10, 1998, {\it and February\/} 23, 1999.