This research investigates the feasibility of utilizing origami folding techniques to create an optimized jumping mechanism. As a theoretical example, we study the dynamic characteristics of a jumping mechanism consisting of two masses connected by a Tachi-Miura Polyhedron (TMP) origami structure with nonlinear stiffness characteristics. We show how the desired “strain-softening” effects of the TMP structure can lead to design of jumping mechanisms with optimized performance. The kinematics of TMP origami structure is reviewed and a modified model of its reaction-force displacement curve is presented. We derive the equations of motion of the jumping process and use their numerical solutions extensively for design optimization. Through this process we are able to obtain optimum geometrical configurations for two different objectives: The maximum time spent in the air and the maximum clearance off the ground. Results of this study can lead to emergence of a new generation of more efficient jumping mechanisms with optimized performance in the future.

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