Kinetic Shapes: Analysis, Verification, and Applications

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A circular shape placed on an incline will roll; similarly, an irregularly shaped object, such as the Archimedean spiral, will roll on a flat surface when a force is applied to its axle. This rolling is dependent on the specific shape and the applied force (magnitude and location). In this paper, we derive formulas that define the behavior of irregular 2D and 3D shapes on a flat plane when a weight is applied to the shape's axle. These kinetic shape (KS) formulas also define and predict shapes that exert given ground reaction forces when a known weight is applied at the axle rotation point. Three 2D KS design examples are physically verified statically with good correlation to predicted values. Motion simulations of unrestrained 2D KS yielded expected results in shape dynamics and self-stabilization. We also put forth practical application ideas and research for 2D and 3D KS such as in robotics and gait rehabilitation.

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Journal of Mechanical Design, v. 136, issue 6, art. 061005