Compliant Space Mechanisms

Metadata Updated: February 28, 2019


The proposed research will combine the areas of compliant mechanisms and space technology. Compliant mechanisms perform their function through the elastic deflection of their members. The advantages of compliant mechanisms include increased performance, reduced or eliminated assembly, no friction or wear, fewer parts, lower cost, and lower weight. These advantages make compliant mechanisms ideally suited for space or aerospace applications, where low weight and no lubrication are essential. My research will exploit the advantages of compliant mechanisms in the areas of human safety in proximity to robots and in flexible deployable structures and mechanisms.


The tasks associated with the proposed research are: (1) identify compliant mechanism replacement opportunities in mechanisms and robotics, including back-driveability, transparency, reactive surfaces, and compliant joints; (2) create fundamental compliant mechanism building blocks that can be used in a wide range of applications; and (3) demonstrate effectiveness of designs in applications.


Under the guidance of a NASA mentor (at JPL), I will apply compliant mechanism theory to create compliant-space-mechanism designs that enable the primary benefit of significant performance gains in critical applications. In doing so, I will personally benefit in engineering experience, but so will BYU and JPL in the building of a technology relationship offering new benefits and opportunities to both.

The resulting shift in mechanism design will increase robustness and simplify manufacturing, leading to reduced risk and cost in space mission planning. Coupling compliant mechanism technology with adaptive structures technology will integrate these functions in fewer components, reducing mass and cost while increasing reliability.

The work proposed here not only answers some of the needs put forth in several of the Space Technology Roadmaps, but it also has the potential to apply in other areas of national interest, including rehabilitation robotics and socially assistive robotics. Concurrent research in these areas is being conducted at BYU. Further, compliant mechanisms span all size scales, providing many unique solutions to technical challenges currently being faced at the nano- and micro-scales as well.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_11546
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
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Metadata Catalog ID
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Harvest Object Id 8bd16f7e-a3a7-4e13-a0ae-79b386747620
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2015-10-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 977caaa9e6fa3891af4da9b55c5a76ed759a5e17
Source Schema Version 1.1

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