Research Papers

An Actively Controlled Shape-Morphing Compliant Microarchitectured Material

[+] Author and Article Information
Lucas A. Shaw

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: lukeshaw@ucla.edu

Jonathan B. Hopkins

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: hopkins@seas.ucla.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 25, 2015; final manuscript received July 23, 2015; published online November 24, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Robert J. Wood.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(2), 021019 (Nov 24, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1098; doi: 10.1115/1.4031168 History: Received April 25, 2015; Revised July 23, 2015; Accepted July 24, 2015

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new kind of microarchitectured material that utilizes active control to alter its bulk shape through the deformation of its compliant elements. This new kind of microarchitectured material achieves its reconfigurable shape capabilities through a new control strategy that utilizes linearity and closed-form analytical tools to rapidly calculate the optimal internal actuation effort necessary to achieve a desired bulk surface profile. The kind of microarchitectured materials introduced in this paper is best suited for high-precision applications that would benefit from materials that can be programed to rapidly alter their surface or shape by small repeatable amounts in a controlled manner. Examples include distortion-correcting surfaces on which precision optics are mounted, airplane wings that deform to increase maneuverability and fuel efficiency, and surfaces that rapidly reconfigure to alter their texture. In this paper, the principles are provided for optimally designing 2D or 3D versions of the new kind of microarchitectured material such that they exhibit desired material property directionality. The mathematical theory is provided for modeling and calculating the actuation effort necessary to drive these materials such that their lattice shape comes closest to achieving a desired profile. Case studies are provided to demonstrate the utility of this theory and finite-element analysis (FEA) is used to verify the results.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Shapes , Actuators , Design , Stress
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Gibson, L. J. , and Ashby, M. F. , 1997, Cellular Solids, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, NY.
Bauer, J. , Hengsbach, S. , Tesari, I. , Schwaiger, R. , and Kraft, O. , 2014, “ High-Strength Cellular Ceramic Composites With 3D Microarchitecture,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 111(7), pp. 2453–2458. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Sigmund, O. , and Torquato, S. , 1996, “ Composites With Extremal Thermal Expansion Coefficients,” Appl. Phys. Lett., 69(21), pp. 3203–3205. [CrossRef]
Dong, J. , and Ferreira, P. M. , 2008, “ Simultaneous Actuation and Displacement Sensing for Electrostatic Drives,” J. Micromech. Microeng., 18(3), pp. 35011–35020. [CrossRef]
Fozdar, D. Y. , Soman, P. , Lee, J. W. , Han, L. H. , and Chen, S. , 2011, “ Three-Dimensional Polymer Constructs Exhibiting a Tunable Negative Poisson's Ratio,” Adv. Funct. Mater., 21(14), pp. 2712–2720. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Heo, H. , Ju, J. , and Kim, D. M. , 2013, “ Compliant Cellular Structures: Application to a Passive Morphing Airfoil,” Compos. Struct., 106, pp. 560–569. [CrossRef]
Bassik, N. , Stern, G. M. , Jamal, M. , and Gracias, D. H. , 2008, “ Patterning Thin Film Mechanical Properties to Drive Assembly of Complex 3D Structures,” Adv. Mater., 20(24), pp. 4760–4764. [CrossRef]
Lochmatter, P. , and Kovacs, G. , 2008, “ Design and Characterization of an Actively Deformable Shell Structure Composed of Interlinked Active Hinge Segments Driven by Soft Dielectric EAPs,” Sens. Actuators A, 141(2), pp. 588–597. [CrossRef]
Goldstein, S. C. , Campbell, J. D. , and Mowry, T. C. , 2005, “ Programmable Matter,” Computer, 38(6), pp. 99–101. [CrossRef]
Zakin, M. , 2008, “ Programmable Matter—The Next Revolution in Materials,” Mil. Technol., 32(5), pp. 98–100.
Rus, D. , and Vona, M. , 1999, “ Self-Reconfiguration Planning With Compressible Unit Modules,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Detroit, MI, May 10–15, Vol. 4, pp. 2513–2520.
Suh, J. W. , Homans, S. B. , and Yim, M. H. , 2002, “ Telecubes: Mechanical Design of a Module for Self-Reconfigurable Robotics,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '02), Washington, DC, May 11–15, Vol. 4, pp. 4095–4101.
Vassilvitskii, S. , Kubica, J. , Rieffel, E. , Yim, M. H. , and Suh, J. W. , 2002, “ On the General Reconfiguration Problem for Expanding Cube Style Modular Robots,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '02), Washington, DC, May 11–15, Vol. 1, pp. 801–808.
White, P. J. , and Yim, M. , 2007, “ Scalable Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots Using External Actuation,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2007), San Diego, CA, Oct. 29–Nov. 2, pp. 2773–2778.
Murata, S. , Kurokawa, H. , Yoshida, E. , Tomita, K. , and Kokaji, S. , 1998, “ A 3-D Self-Reconfigurable Structure,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Leuven, Belgium, May 16–20, Vol. 1, pp. 432–439.
Bishop, J. , Burden, S. , Klavins, E. , Kreisberg, R. , Malone, W. , Napp, N. , and Nguyen, T. , 2005, “ Programmable Parts: A Demonstration of the Grammatical Approach to Self-Organization,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2005), Edmonton, AB, Canada, Aug. 2–6, pp. 3684–3691.
White, P. , Zykov, V. , Bongard, J. , and Lipson, H. , 2005, “ Three Dimensional Stochastic Reconfiguration of Modular Robots,” Robotics: Science and Systems Conference (RSS I), Cambridge, MA, June 8–11, pp. 161–168.
Hawkes, E. , An, B. , Benbernou, N. M. , Tanaka, H. , Kim, S. , Demaine, E. D. , Rus, D. , and Wood, R. J. , 2010, “ Programmable Matter by Folding,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 107(28), pp. 12441–12445. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Gilpin, K. , Knaian, A. , and Rus, D. , 2010, “ Robot Pebbles: One Centimeter Modules for Programmable Matter Through Self-Disassembly,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Anchorage, AK, May 3–7, pp. 2485–2492.
White, P. J. , Revzen, S. , Thorne, C. E. , and Yim, M. , 2011, “ A General Stiffness Model for Programmable Matter and Modular Robotic Structures,” Robotica, 29(1), pp. 103—121. [CrossRef]
Şahin, E. , 2005, “ Swarm Robotics: From Sources of Inspiration to Domains of Application,” Swarm Robotics, Springer, Berlin, pp. 10–20.
Cowin, S. C. , and Mehrabadi, M. M. , 1995, “ Anisotropic Symmetries of Linear Elasticity,” ASME Appl. Mech. Rev., 48(5), pp. 247–285. [CrossRef]
Ball, R. S. , 1900, A Treatise on the Theory of Screws, The University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Hopkins, J. B. , Lange, K. J. , and Spadaccini, C. M. , 2013, “ Designing Microstructural Architectures With Thermally Actuated Properties Using Freedom, Actuation, and Constraint Topologies,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 135(6), p. 061004. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

A 2D shape-morphing microarchitectured material example that consists of repeating unit cells (a), and one of the four arms within one of these unit cells (b) and (c)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Isotropic lattices made of hexagonal (a) and triangular (b) unit cells

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

A simple unit cell design used for modeling (a), a 3 × 15 lattice of cells (b), and the same lattice actuated to a desired deformed shape (c)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

A successful (a) and unsuccessful (b) attempt at achieving a desired lattice shape using the swarm control approach

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Shape-morphing lattice case studies that utilize independent-actuator control to achieve an E = 0 (a)–(d) and a more realistic V-shape was achieved (e)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

A 20 × 20 shape-morphing lattice

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Unit cell's geometric parameters (a); a loading pattern applied to a 2 × 2 lattice that follows the swarm approach discussed in Sec. 3 (b); the resulting lattice deformation according to FEA (c); and the resulting lattice deformation according to the analytical tools of Sec. 4 (d)




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In