This paper profiles the initial phase in the development of a six degree-of-freedom robot, with 1 μm dynamic positioning uncertainty, for the manipulation of x-ray detectors or test specimens at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). While revolute-joint robot manipulators exhibit a smaller footprint along with increased positioning flexibility compared to Cartesian manipulators, commercially available revolute-joint manipulators do not meet our size, positioning, or environmental specifications. Currently, a robot with 20 μm dynamic positioning uncertainty is functioning at the APS for cryogenic crystallography sample pick-and-place operation. Theoretical, computational and experimental procedures are being used to (1) identify and (2) simulate the dynamics of the present robot system using a multibody approach, including the mechanics and control architecture, and eventually to (3) design an improved version with a 1 μm dynamic positioning uncertainty. We expect that the preceding experimental and theoretical techniques will be useful design and analysis tools as multi-degree-of-freedom manipulators become more prevalent on synchrotron beamlines.