This paper describes the design of a unique revolute flexure joint, called a split-tube flexure, that enables (lumped compliance) compliant mechanism design with a considerably larger range-of-motion than a conventional thin beam flexure, and additionally provides significantly better multi-axis revolute joint characteristics. Conventional flexure joints utilize bending as the primary mechanism of deformation. In contrast, the split-tube flexure joint incorporates torsion as the primary mode of deformation, and contrasts the torsional properties of a thin-walled open-section member with the bending properties of that member to obtain desirable joint behavior. The development of this joint enables the development of compliant mechanisms that are quite compliant along kinematic axes, extremely stiff along structural axes, and are capable of kinematically well-behaved large motions.

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