Experimental implementation of the ‘effective 4-bar method’ on a reconfigurable articulated structure
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A structural concept for reconfigurable buildings is considered. Its basic element is the planar n-bar linkage whose joints are equipped with brakes. Stepwise reconfigurations are realized based on the ‘effective 4-bar’ method. During each intermediate step (n-4) joints of the mechanism are selectively locked reducing the system to a 1-DOF mechanism and one joint angle is adjusted. A basic actuation approach requires only one actuated joint. A more involved cable-driven approach employs a system of two actuated cables. Both approaches are examined through simulations and their experimental implementation on a small-scale prototype demonstrates the applicability of the method and highlights practical implementation issues.