Via analytical modeling and experimental validation, this study examines the bending stiffness adaptation of bistable origami modules based on generalized Kresling pattern. These modules, which are the building blocks of an octopus-inspired robotic manipulator, can create a reconfigurable articulation via switching between their stable states. In this way, the manipulator can exhibit pseudo-linkage kinematics with lower control requirements and improved motion accuracy compared to completely soft manipulators. A key to achieving this reconfigurable articulation is that the underlying Kresling modules must show a sufficient difference in bending stiffness between their stable states. Therefore, this study aims to use both a nonlinear bar-hinge model and experimental testing to uncover the correlation between the module bending stiffness and the corresponding origami designs. The results show that the Kresling origami module can indeed exhibit a significant change in bending stiffness because of the reorientation of its triangular facets. That is, at one stable state, these facets align close to parallel to the longitudinal axis of the cylindrical-shaped module, so the module bending stiffness is relatively high and dominated by the facet stretching. However, at the other stable states, the triangular facets are orientated close to perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, so the bending stiffness is low and dominated by crease folding. The results of this study will provide the necessary design insights for constructing a fully functional manipulator with the desired articulation behavior.

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