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Research Papers

A Shape-Morphing Mechanism With Sliding Panels

[+] Author and Article Information
Aaron Yu

Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Ryerson University,
350 Victoria Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
e-mail: aaron.yu@ryerson.ca

Fengfeng (Jeff) Xi

Professor
Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Ryerson University,
350 Victoria Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
e-mail: fengxi@ryerson.ca

Amin Moosavian

Department of Aerospace Engineering,
University of Michigan,
1320 Beal Avenue,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
e-mail: amoosavi@umich.edu

Manuscript received August 31, 2016; final manuscript received March 3, 2017; published online April 20, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Jian S. Dai.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 9(4), 041001 (Apr 20, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-16-1254; doi: 10.1115/1.4036221 History: Received August 31, 2016; Revised March 03, 2017

Unlike a traditional yeaechanism, where typically only the pose of the moving platform is of significance, a shape-morphing mechanism requires additional provisions. Mainly, any covers or skin panels that enclose the mechanism have to conform to additional constraints to avoid interference and clashing of said covers and achieve certain shapes during morphing. This paper presents a new method for kinematic modeling and analysis of such six degree-of-freedom (DOF) shape-morphing mechanisms enclosed by a number of rigid sliding panels. This type of mechanism has applications in aircraft morphing, where the shape of the enclosing skin is of significant importance in the design. Based on traditional parallel robot kinematics, the proposed method is developed to model the motions of multisegmented telescopic rigid panels that are attached via additional links to the base and platform of a driving mechanism. When the robot actuators are locked, each panel will have 3DOFs. The DOFs are utilized to satisfy constraints among adjacent panels, such as maintaining parallelism and minimal gap. Through this modeling and analysis, nonlinear formulations are adopted to optimize orientations of adjacent sliding panels during motion over the workspace of the mechanism. This method will help design a set of permissible panels used to enclose the mechanism while remaining free of collision. A number of cases are simulated to show the effectiveness of the proposed method. The effect of increased mobility is analyzed and validated as a potential solution to reduce panel collisions.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Partial schematic of sliding panel methodology. Without the aid of the adjacent panels, each sliding panel has three unconstrained DOFs when all the actuators are locked. However, when accounting for the constraints imposed by the adjacent panels, no unconstrained DOFs remain in the system.

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Fig. 2

Passive panel coordinate systems

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Fig. 3

Schematic of extra link for analysis

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Fig. 4

Definition of skin panel configuration

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Fig. 5

Definition of passive panel configuration for base (a) and moving platform (b)

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Fig. 6

z-axial translational morphing of the morphing mechanism (see figure online for color)

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Fig. 7

x-axial translational morphing of the morphing mechanism

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Fig. 8

Rotational morphing of 10 deg about z-axis: (a) isometric view and (b) top view

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Fig. 9

Rotation morphing of 10 deg about x-axis

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Fig. 10

Rotational morphing of 10 deg about z-axis at critical gap

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Fig. 11

z-axial translational morphing with ten panels

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Fig. 12

z-axial translational morphing with ten panels: (a) isometric view and (b) top view

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