Shape Memory Alloy actuators offer solutions to many common actuation problems especially where space or weight is limited. However, practical applications for SMA actuators in the automotive industry are still relatively few. The design of a novel automotive mirror actuator is outlined. The actuator utilizes a spherical joint and a passive friction brake to translate the linear motion of SMA wires into the angular rotation required for the mirror. A simple and effective variable structure controller is developed for the control of the mirror actuator and experimental results are obtained showing the controller is effective with small perturbations.

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