Robots are used for many different applications including underwater recovery, welding, inspection, pick-and-place operations, space exploration, and assembly. Each task imparts different functional demands on the robot topology including the gripper. An improper choice of the basic kinematic chain may demand sophisticated control algorithms to undo poor type selection. This paper suggests techniques of type synthesis based on graph theory and expert systems that will aid in proper kinematic topology. This new area of kinematic research has high potential for aiding the robot designer.