The paper presents the design and principle of operation of a new type of articulated connection of adjacent links of manipulation systems of mobile transport and technological machines – the drive swivel joints to provide a rotary relative movement of the links. Their design allows to combine the function of ensuring the continuity of the kinematic chain and the function of providing rotary movement adjacent units and without the use of additional external devices. The design of the device is protected by a patent of the Russian Federation. Drive swivel joints are an alternative to traditional designs of articulated joints with external power hydraulic drives. Developed a mathematical optimization model. The model is based on the minimization of the mass of the drive swivel joints when you complete the necessary design, installation, operating and strength constraints. Based on this mathematical model the proposed method of computer-aided design of the drive swivel joints, which is implemented in a computer program. A study was conducted of the influence of the main technical characteristics and magnitude of the operational load at the optimal weight and the optimal constructive dimensions of the drive swivel joints. It is shown that at equal freight-altitude characteristics of mobile crane-manipulator the drive swivel joint allows you to exclude a number of operational shortcomings of the traditional swivel: 1) development over time of the additional dynamic load of metal due to the increased clearances in connection; 2) lowering the volume of the working area of the crane due to the presence of external power of hydraulic drives; 3) the appearance of cracks due to fatigue failure of the elements of the attachment point of the hydraulic drives to the links of manipulation system. It is possible that the transfer of the hydraulic system for lower operating pressure, which increases the efficiency of the crane and the efficiency of the hydraulic drive as a whole, as well as reduction in operating maintenance costs.