Aug 12, 2023

An origami-inspired universally deformable module for robotics applications

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Modular robots—robotic systems that can adapt their body configuration to change locomotion style or move on different terrains—can be highly advantageous for tackling missions in diverse environments. Over the past decade or so, engineers have developed a wide range of modular robots that rely on different designs and underlying mechanisms.

A research team at Westlake University and Zhejiang University in China recently introduced a new modular design inspired by the paper-folding art of origami, specifically by an origami fold known as the Kresling pattern. Their design, introduced in a paper in Nature Communications, relies on newly introduced, universally deformable modules that can be rearranged to create different shapes and configurations.

“There have been some efforts to use Kresling pattern to develop multimode robotic arms,” Hanquing Jiang, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Tech Xplore. “However, the existing methods are purely based the Kresling pattern itself; thus, the deformation modes are limited by the coupled twisting and contraction mode. The primary objective is to modify the classical Kresling pattern and to generate new deformation modes.”

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