Large deformable morphing structure:Flytrap-inspired robot
The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is an insectivorous plant which shows one of the fastest motions in the plant world. Its special characteristic is explained in mechanical structural point of view [Mahadevan, Nature, 2005]. In post-stimulation mechanical aspects of the Venus flytrap closure, the plant has snap-buckling instability in a doubly-curved leaf. We focused on the snap-buckling instability in doubly-curved leaf which is similar with bi-stable unsymmetrically laminated carbon fiber reinforced prepreg (CFRP). The bi-stable CFRP structure also has doubly-curved configuration and the bi-stability results from mismatch of thermo-mechanical expansion in the structure. By using the bi-stable CFRP structure as a leaf of flytrap and shape memory alloy (SMA) coil spring as an actuator, we built a flytrap robot which can snap in about 100ms like closure time of flytrap. This fast capturing robot and its technology can be applied to a fast morphing structure or smart structure which has embedded actuator.