Deployable Structures in Biology

  • Julian F. V. Vincent
Conference paper


Deployable structures are common in the living world, allowing delicate structures to be kept out of harm’s way until they are needed. They can be one-dimensional (everting tubes), two-dimensional (insect wings, leaves) or three-dimensional (worms, skeletal mechanisms such as fish jaws). They are mostly actuated by hydraulic pressure (plants and soft-bodied animals) or muscular systems (animals) and some are actuated using stored strain energy so that they can deploy at high speed (jellyfish sting cells, some fish jaws). For the organism, déployable structures give greater command over the local environment with little weight penalty. In robotics, déployable structures can be lighter than fixed structures with the same functionality, and can increase overall functionality by being deployed sequentially, thus giving separate functions which can be mutually independent.


Secondary Vein Insect Wing Vascular Canal Store Strain Energy Deployable Structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian F. V. Vincent
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe UniversityBathUK

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