Two-Sheet Type Rotary-Driven Thin Bending Mechanism Realizing High Stiffness

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Thin construction is an advantage in the design of mechanisms. Among them, the soft-bending thin sheet actuator can fit into the shape of an object and grasp it after inserting a finger into a narrow space. However, to facilitate bending, these mechanisms are thin or made of soft materials, which leads to low stiffness. In this study, we proposed a thin metal sheet actuator that deforms its cross-section in accordance with the bending motion to achieve both thinness and rigidity. It was composed of two metal sheets connected with rotational joints and links. We focused on the anisotropic bending stiffness of the metal sheet and realized a three-dimensional deformation structure; it can be driven only with rotary-driven input using both torsional and bending deformations of the sheet. The experimental results indicate that the stiffness is up to 8.7 times higher compared to the undeformed sheet structure. In addition, we used this mechanism to realize a thin finger mechanism with a lifting motion after inserting a narrow gap between the object and the floor. Additionally, we realized a compliant contacting motion by focusing on different elasticities depending on the direction of bending.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9517010
Pages (from-to)8333-8340
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct


  • Compliant joints and mechanisms
  • grippers and other end-effectors
  • soft robot materials and design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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