Variable stiffness structures lie at the nexus of soft robots and traditional robots as they enable the execution of both high-force tasks and delicate manipulations. Laminar jamming structures, which consist of thin flexible sheets encased in a sealed chamber, can alternate between a rigid state when a vacuum is applied and a flexible state when the layers are allowed to slide in the absence of a pressure gradient. In this work, an additional mode of controllability is added by clamping and unclamping the ends of a simple laminar jamming beam structure. Previous works have focused on the translational degree of freedom that may be controlled via vacuum pressure; here we introduce a rotational degree of freedom that may be independently controlled with a clamping mechanism. Preliminary results demonstrate the ability to switch between three states: high stiffness (under vacuum), translational freedom (with clamped ends, no vacuum), and rotational freedom (with ends free to slide, no vacuum).
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- ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
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- National Science Foundation
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