Edge view of Penn State flat motor developed by Dr. Gary Koopmann, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering; Chen Weicheng, CAV laboratory manager; George Lesieutre, professor of aerospace engineering, and Eric Mockensturm, assistant professor of mechanical enigneering all at Penn State and Jeremy Frank, president, KCF Industries.
Credit: Jeremy Frank, KCF Technologies
Head-on view of Penn State flat motor developed by Dr. Gary Koopmann, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering; Chen Weicheng, CAV laboratory manager; George Lesieutre, professor of aerospace engineering, and Eric Mockensturm, assistant professor of mechanical enigneering all at Penn State and Jeremy Frank, president, KCF Industries.
Credit: Jeremy Frank, KCF Technologies
Penn State engineers have developed a low- cost, high-torque rotary motor, based on "smart" materials, that can be configured in a wide range of formats, including one as flat and thin as a CD case.
The inventors say that, in the flat format, the motor could be used to drive changes in the camber of airplane wings or fins, essentially shape-shifting the curvature of the wing or fin surface.
In other formats, the motor could work in tightly integrated spaces where other motors can’t fit. For example, the "smart" material motor could serve as the drive element in thinner, lighter, laptop computers or other compact, portable consumer products or in manufacturing equipment that processes things by moving or shaking them.
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