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Developable / Fully Collapsible Mechanisms

ID: 2018-045 A cylindrical shaft that conceals curved-links (developable) four-bar mechanisms that performs different tasks

Principal Investigator: Larry Howell
Invention includes disclosures #2018-046 and #2018-047

The invention consists in three variations based on the same principles but with different functions and applications. It is made out of a cylindrical shaft that conceals curved-link (developable) four-bar mechanisms that can actuate to: (1) create a second shaft adjacent to the first, (2) contact from two or more sides (such as to cut, grip, or squeeze) a workpiece that is outside the cylinder, (3) cut, grip, squeeze, objects on the inside of a cylinder.

Current cylindrical shafts or tubes often allow only one tool to operate at the end of the shaft, especially when the tubes are small. This invention enables an instrument to be included in a cylindrical shaft and to enter a workspace through a single entrance in combination with other instruments on the end of the shaft. This can 1) lower the time required to perform a task in a confined/remote workspace by reducing the number of tooling changes required; 2) reduce the trauma/damage to the boundary of the workspace by reducing the number of entrance holes/points required; 3) reduce the complexity of the control system used in conjunction with the tooling setup, as fewer shafts would be required to enter the space, and 4) reduce the cost of a procedure.

About the Market:

Potential applications of the invention include: minimally invasive surgery instruments, down-hole drilling equipment, electronics with cylindrical shafts such as a laser, flashlight, camera lens, motor, speaker, charging port, robotic arm clamps, and biopsies.

For more information, contact Spencer Rogers (801-422-3676)

Links and Resources

  1. One Page Summary PDF
  2. Inventor Webpage
  3. Compliant Mechanisms Research Group Webpage