A Reconfigurable Linkage and Its Applications in Lift Mechanism

Conference paper


This paper proposes a reconfigurable lift mechanism which is composed of many planar revolute jointed linkages. Theoretically all of these linkages could be compacted to one line and then be further folded to a bundle. When working, the bundle first spreads out to a line and then connects two ends of the line to form a triangular closed loop so that the loop could ultimately deploy to act as a lift mechanism. Therefore, this kind of reconfigurable lift mechanism is portable and will be particularly used in some situations. The reconfigurable unit is first synthesized from the mobility requirement and the release of rigid joint constraint of the strengthened triangular frame is discussed to prove the possibility of completely folding after utilization for the whole mechanism. Prototype test shows that this kind of reconfigurable mechanism has very good stiffness and strength while keeping the portable characteristics.


Reconfigurable mechanism Deployable unit Lift mechanism Overconstraint mechanism 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 51175277, the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing under Grant 3112014 and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in Tsinghua University. The authors gratefully acknowledge these support agencies. In addition, the authors are grateful to Dr. Ketao Zhang and Dr. Guowu Wei from King’s College London, University of London for their kind help in improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Precision Instruments and MechanologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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