18. November 2020

New analysis that employs curved origami buildings has dramatic implications in the event of robotics going ahead, offering tunable flexibility — the flexibility to regulate stiffness based mostly on perform — that traditionally has been tough to realize utilizing easy design.

“The incorporation of curved origami structures into robotic design provides a remarkable possibility in tunable flexibility, or stiffness, as its complementary concept,” defined Hanqing Jiang, a mechanical engineering professor at Arizona State University.

“High flexibility, or low stiffness, is comparable to the soft landing navigated by a cat. Low flexibility, or high stiffness, is similar to executing of a hard jump in a pair of stiff boots,” he stated.

Jiang is the lead writer of a paper, “In Situ Stiffness Manipulation Using Elegant Curved Origami,” printed this week in Wissenschaft Fortschritte. “Curved Origami can add both strength and catlike flexibility to robotic actions,” he stated.

Jiang additionally in contrast using curved origami to the operational variations between sporty automobiles sought by drivers who need to really feel the rigidity of the highway and automobiles desired by those that search a snug experience that alleviates jarring actions.

“Similar to switching between a sporty-car mode to a comfortable-ride mode, these curved origami structures will simultaneously offer a capability to on-demand switch between soft and hard modes depending on how the robots interact with the environment,” he stated.

Robotics requires a range of stiffness modes: excessive rigidity is important for lifting weights; excessive flexibility is required for impression absorption; and unfavourable stiffness, or the flexibility to rapidly launch saved vitality like a spring, is required for dash.

A video explaining the analysis is on the market on YouTube.

Traditionally, the mechanics of accommodating rigidity variances could be cumbersome with nominal range, whereas curved origami can compactly help an expanded stiffness scale with on-demand flexibility. The buildings coated in Jiang and workforce’s analysis mix the folding vitality on the origami creases with the bending of the panel, tuned by switching amongst a number of curved creases between two factors.

Curved origami permits a single robotic to perform a range of actions. A pneumatic, swimming robotic developed by the workforce can accomplish a range of 9 completely different actions, together with quick, medium, gradual, linear and rotational actions, by merely adjusting which creases are used.

In addition to purposes for robotics, the curved origami analysis rules are additionally related for the design of mechanical metamaterials in the fields of electromagnetics, car and aerospace elements, and biomedical gadgets.

“The beauty of this work is that the design of curved origami is very similar, just by changing the straight creases to curved creases, and each curved crease corresponds to a particular flexibility,” Jiang stated. 

Curved_Origami_Robot_Example)_ASUA video explaining how origami creases are shaped is on the market on YouTube.

The analysis was funded by the Mechanics of Materials and Structures program of the National Science Foundation. Authors contributing to the paper are Jiang, Zirui Zhai and Lingling Wu from ASU’s School for Engineering, Matter, Transport and Energy, and Yong Wang and Ken Lin from the Department of Engineering Mechanics at Zhejiang University, China.

Images and movies by Zirui Zhai/Arizona State University

Terry Grant

Media Relations Officer , Media Relations and Strategic Communications