An Origami-Inspired, SMA Actuated Lifting Structure Conference Paper uri icon


  • © Copyright 2016 by ASME. Origami engineering is the study of the construction principles found in the art of origami and application of those principles to various engineering applications. Although origami engineering researchers have addressed the tasks of lifting a load and supporting a static load, to our knowledge no one has demonstrated a system combining these two important capabilities. In this paper, we describe an origami-inspired actuator that can fold flat, lift a load, and then support that load structurally with no electrical or mechanical input. The design is based on a bistable origami pattern similar to the classical origami waterbomb base, and is actuated by shape memory alloy (SMA) wires in torsion. We detail a framework for the generalized structure and actuation method of SMA wires as well as the construction and testing of a proof-of-concept lifter. This proof of concept structure, weighing 22 grams, is able to lift a 50g load in 8 seconds using a 2.5 Volt input, and statically support 200g even after the cessation of voltage input. We conduct a preliminary analysis into the parameters of the structure that most affect its lifting capabilities.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wood, L. J., Rendon, J., Malak, R. J., & Hartl, D.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • August 2016