This paper presents a framework to transform bar-joint linkages into continuum/compliant mechanisms (CCMs) whose motion is enabled by smart material actuators. The rigid bars and pin-joints of the precursor mechanisms are thickened into continuum/compliant regions defined through a set of shape and size parameters. These parameters are optimized such that the CCMs exhibit the same target motion as the precursor bar-joint linkages. The motion of the non-self-intersecting, planar CCMs is thermally-driven by axial wire actuators that connect two points in the CCMs or by bending actuators placed at thickened bar members. Various CCMs with different target motions are provided as implementation examples. Applications of this framework include micro-scale manipulation devices, biomedical devices, and metamaterials and metastructures.
Yudong Fang, Woo Rib Suh, and Edwin A. Peraza Hernandez, "Parametric optimization of continuum mechanisms incorporating active material actuation," Proc. SPIE 11379, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2020, 113791N (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation: April 30, 2020; Published: 19 May 2020); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2558787.
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