Abstract: A kinematic modeling method, which is directly applicable to any type of planar mobile robots, is proposed in this work. Since holonomic constraints have the same differential form as nonholonomic constraints, the instantaneous motion of the mobile robot at current configuration can be modeled as that of a parallel manipulator. A pseudo joint model denoting the interface between the wheel and the ground (i.e., the position of base of the mobile robot) enables the derivation of this equivalent kinematic model. The instantaneous kinematic structures of four different wheels are modeled as multiple pseudo joints. Then, the transfer method of augmented generalized coordinates, which has been popularly employed in modeling of parallel manipulators, is applied to obtain the instantaneous kinematic models of mobile robots. The kinematic models of six different types of planar mobile robots are derived to show the effectiveness of the proposed modeling method. Lastly, for the mobile robot equipped with four conventional wheels, an algorithm estimating a sensed forward solution for the given information of the rotational velocities of the four wheels is discussed. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.