August 22, 2012
(Top) The team at Penn State's Learning Factory. (L-R) Simpson, Strzelec, Ounaies, Lien, von Lockette, and Frecker. (Bottom) Multi-field origami structure. Photos taken by Strzelec (1-3, 5) and artist Matt Shlian (4).
A $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) has been awarded to principal investigator (PI) Mary Frecker, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, to develop methods to design active origami structures to be used for applications in minimally invasive surgery, adaptive aircraft structures, reconfigurable robots and deployable space structures.
The project, titled “Multi-field Responsive Origami Structures – Advancing the Emerging Frontier of Active Compliant Mechanisms,” will be led by Frecker along with co-PIs Timothy Simpson and Zoubeida Ounaies, both of Penn State’s College of Engineering, Rowan University’s Paris von Lockette, George Mason University’s Jyh-Ming Lien and visual arts professor Rebecca Strzelec of Penn State’s Altoona campus.
The team will work to develop methods to design origami structures that actively fold and unfold in response to multiple fields. These methods, along with the use of predictive multi-scale modeling and multi-physics simulations, will guide the development of new active materials. Modeling, design and active materials efforts will be integrated in a design optimization framework.
This grant is part of the NSF’s Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) initiative, which focuses on important emerging areas in engineering. One of their current focus areas is Origami Design for Integration of Self-assembling Systems for Engineering Innovation.
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