A branch of classical mechanics, kinematics describe the analysis of the geometry of motion of one or more mechanisms or machines. A simple example is the study of the motion of a lever on a wedge. One end transfers input motion, while the other end transfers output motion. If two levers are connected by a joint, it will create a scissor that will produce a cutting motion at the output end, when the mechanical work from one end is transported.
In astrophysics, kinematics is used to describe motions and collections of celestial bodies. In robotics, mechanical engineering, and biomechanics, it is used to describe the motion system that is made up of a number of joined parts.
Kinematics also helps ensure that a particular motion produces the desired result. It helps provide insights to movement-related questions. If a slider crank, for example, oscillates at a particular speed and frequency, at which position will it stop? The answer will depend on the angular velocity and lengths of the crank, and the coupler used.
Motion is described by kinematic quantities that are measured through kinematic analysis. Applied in engineering, kinematics analysis can be used to design a mechanism that is capable of a wide range of motion. These mechanisms can be used to create an entire machine.
Kinematic mechanisms are often considered the bones of modern technologies. They are found in aircrafts, automobiles, robots, satellites and consumer electronics. This underlines the importance of kinematics design in today’s modern world. Without the study of motion, it will be difficult to determine the position of one component of a mechanical system relative to another.
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