U.S. Patent issued to Professor Marko Popovic, et al.
Title: "Actuation Systems and Methods"
The One-To-Many (OTM) system is a novel concept for actuation and mechanical energy storage. The “One-To-Many” (OTM) concept allows a single electric motor to store energy in the form of elastic potential energy to drive multiple (e.g. hundred) motor units or independently controlled mechanical degrees of freedom. Hence, the OTM concept offers an alternative to conventional methods of linear actuation by minimizing the number of electric motors in a system, hence relaxing the power, mass, dimensions, and cost of the system. In the case of both linear and rotary OTM system architecture, the energy stored in the elastic medium is defined by the position of the end points of the elastic medium. In the linear case, the end points are limited by finite dimension of allowed linear space. In difference, the rotary OTM system operates in the unlimited rotational space and hence provides more relaxed conditions for control of the system and does not require an automated mechanical reset, allowing for 100% duty cycle operation, introducing the possibility of much greater performance. A single motor operating at optimal motor conditions (as it is never connected directly to load) can actuate any number of Degrees of Freedom with power amplification capability. Hence, the system can be a portable, lightweight, cost-effective, and energy-efficient alternative to traditional actuators. The OTM is a very attractive solution for wearable systems.
Patent issued as U.S. Patent No. 9,879,767 on January 30, 2018