This paper presents a novel compliant parallel mechanism that utilizes shape-memory-alloy (SMA) spring based actuators. By employing SMA coil springs, the traditional line constraint that resists translation along its axis but no other forms of motions is transformed into a linear actuator that can generate deflection along its axis, which leads to the design of SMA-spring linear actuators. In accordance with this SMA actuator, an constraint-based approach in the framework of screw theory is utilized to synthesize the constraint and actuation space of parallel mechanisms, and a novel 4 DOF parallel platform is developed based on this analytical approach. A physical prototype is manufactured by employing the SMA-spring actuators, and its mobility and workspace are verified with both finite element simulation and experiment observations. The results illustrate this parallel mechanism has a large workspace in all desired mobility configurations. The presented work on the parallel platform demonstrates the efficiency of the constraint-based approach in determining the layout of actuation systems, also the developed SMA actuators pave a new way for applying the SMA technique in the future development of compliant parallel mechanisms and robotics.

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