The kaleidocycle is unique among compliant mechanisms for its ability to undergo continuous rotation. Most compliant mechanisms are able to flex back and forth over a certain range. The kaleidocycle is no different in that its flexible members move back and forth 240° in each direction, but their arrangement allows the mechanism as a whole to continuously rotate. The ability to continuously rotate was once thought to be possible only by traditional mechanisms, like bearings or bushings. Because each of the flexures has some resistance, this leads to interesting multistable behavior depending on the relative stiffness of different joints, with monostable, bistable, tristable, and quadstable behaviors possible.
By making the kaleidocycles out of a conductor, or at least so that there is an unbroken circuit because of their material, they are able to conduct electricity across all of their joints. This creates a continuously rotatable conductor, which could lead to more relevant applications.
The BYU Compliant Mechanisms Research Group (CMR) involves students and faculty who strive to make an impact by creating compliant mechanism theories and applications that are novel, used by others, and make a difference for good.
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