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Spherical Three Degree of Freedom Micro-mechanism

ID: 2005-34 A platform for accurate out-of-plane positioning of microelectromechanical system (MEMS).

Principal Investigator: Larry Howell

Spherical Three-degree-of-freedom Platform has three degrees of freedom that are manifested in three input parameters (the rotation of three spherical slider-cranks) and three output parameters (the height of the platform, and magnitude and direction of the platform tilt). Because the platform can tilt away from the horizontal, the system could be used as an orientable mirror in 3-D optics applications in mirror arrays and sensors. It is also possible to combine spherical bistable mechanisms (described elsewhere) to create a multistable device.

About the Market:
There is a need for accurate out-of-plane positioning of microelectromechanical system (MEMS). Such mechanisms are useful in mirror arrays and sensors. Applications include optical switching and routing, and projection systems. The invention has potential in optical communication systems and other applications where continuous 3-D positioning of a micro surface is valuable. It allows continues positioning in three degrees of freedom (i.e. it can be tilted in an infinite number of directions about all three axis). Advantages of the device include its long throw, the ability to position the platform at a large number of angles, and a low fill factor (i.e. it is very compact because the mechanisms can be fabricated below the surface it is moving, such as a mirror).

For more information, contact 801-422-6266

Links and Resources

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