The use of origami principles to create 3-dimensional shapes has the potential to revolutionize active material structures and compliant mechanisms. Active origami structures can be applied to a broad range of areas such as reconfigurable aircraft and deployable space structures as well as instruments for minimally invasive surgery. Our current research is focused on dielectric elastomer (DE) and magneto active elastomer (MAE) materials to create multi-field responsive structures. Such multi-field responsive structures will integrate the DE and MAE materials to enable active structures that fold/unfold in different ways in response to electric and/or magnetic field. They can also unfold either as a result of eliminating the applied field or in response to the application of an opposite field. This concept is demonstrated in a folding cube shape and induced locomotion in the MAE material. Two finite element models are developed for both the DE and MAE materials and validated through physical testing of these materials. The models are then integrated to demonstrate multi-field responses of a bi-fold multi-field responsive structure. The bifold model is designed to fold about one axis in an electric field and a perpendicular axis in a magnetic field. Future modeling efforts and research directions are also discussed based on these preliminary results.

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