A compliant hinge is proposed to replace conventional revolute joints for a shape memory alloy actuated arm-like mechanism. The arm-like mechanism is designed to replicate the articulation of the elbow joint, linking the humerus and radius, while being able to lift a dead load using a shape memory alloy wire as the biceps muscle. A parametric analysis on hinge geometry and Young’s modulus is performed to determine if a feasible geometric and material solution exists based on the application requirements. The results indicate optimum solutions are logarithmically correlated between modulus of elasticity and width-to-thickness ratio. Overlaying the results of the parametric study onto an Ashby chart indicates that large hinge widths are necessary. These results indicate more complex geometries are needed for arm-like manipulator applications.

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