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Proceedings Paper

Optimization and implementation of the smart joint actuator
Author(s): Justin Manzo; Ephrahim Garcia
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Paper Abstract

A new actuator system is being developed at the Cornell Laboratory of Intelligent Material Systems to address the problems of dynamic self-actuated shape change. This low profile actuator, known as the 'smart joint', is capable of maintaining rigidity in its nominal configuration, but can be actively strained to induce rotation at flexure joints. The joint is energetically efficient, only requiring power consumption during active morphing maneuvers used to move between shapes. The composite beam mechanism uses shape memory alloy (SMA) for strain actuation, with shape memory polymer (SMP) providing actively tailored rigidity due to its thermally varying properties. The first phase of the actuator development was modeling of the generic composite structure, proving analytically and computationally that the joint can produce useful work. The next phase focuses on optimization of this joint structure and usage, including ideal layering configurations and thicknesses in order to maximize various metrics specific to particular applications. Heuristic optimization using the simulated annealing algorithm is employed to best determine the structure of the joint at various scaling ratios, layering structures, and with varying external loading taken into account. The results are briefly compared to finite element models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 April 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6928, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2008, 692810 (18 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.776302
Show Author Affiliations
Justin Manzo, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Ephrahim Garcia, Cornell Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6928:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2008
Mehdi Ahmadian, Editor(s)

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