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Origami Rotors: Imparting Continuous Rotation to a Moving Platform Using Compliant Flexure Hinges

[+] Author Affiliations
Matthew S. Moses

Independent Consultant, Lafayette, CO

M. Kendal Ackerman, Gregory S. Chirikjian

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Paper No. DETC2013-12753, pp. V06BT07A037; 10 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6B: 37th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5594-2
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


A mechanism that admits continuous free rotation between a fixed platform and a rotating body is described. The mechanism is a serial kinematic chain with several revolute joints. The end of the kinematic chain has free and unlimited rotational motion, equivalent to a standard mechanical pivot, but the travel of each individual joint in the chain is limited to less than ±70 degrees. The joints that compose the chain can thus be constructed using compliant flexure hinges. The entire mechanism can be folded from a single flat sheet of material, and is thus well suited for self-assembly by folding, which is an increasingly attractive technique for building micro-scale devices. Potential applications include rotating propellers for micro underwater or fluid-immersed (e.g. within a blood vessel) robots, and high-mobility wheel-legs for crawling vehicles.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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