14-18 Sept. 2014
This paper presents OrigamiBot-I, a thread-actuated origami robot, to demonstrate a physical application of an origami design for robotic manipulation and locomotion. The selected design can generate twisting and bending motions by pulling, pushing, or torsional force applied to the origami structure. Thread-based actuation also enables various shapes and motions by using different numbers of threads and routing them through different paths. The kinematics for each twisting and bending motions based on estimated parameters is derived. To evaluate potential use of origami for real-world applications and identify structural weaknesses, preliminary stiffness and durability testing was conducted. For physical demonstrations of robotic manipulation and locomotion, OrigamiBot-I was equipped with four independently-routed threads, where each thread is controlled by a geared DC motor. The robot successfully demonstrated its simple manipulation and locomotion capabilities.