The Popular Edge, Pop-Up and Book Arts News

January 27, 2015

Are Origami Robots in Your Future?

Filed under: animation, paper crafts — Tags: , — popularkinetics @ 3:42 am

Origami Transformer RobotPaper Origami RobotRobots that arrive flat, fold themselves into three dimensions, then walk away–it sounds like the future, but this future is already here in the engineering labs at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The robots are based on folding techniques practiced for centuries by origami artists who create paper sculptures from single pieces of paper. For this robot project, supervised by Sam Felton, a doctoral  candidate at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the paper has been lined with Shrinky Dink, a children’s toy plastic that shrinks when heated. Tiny circuits in the flat robot heat and bend the paper into position without the help of human hands. Batteries and a small motor enable the robot to walk, and although these are not currently flat components, eventually two-dimensional versions will be available. Jesse Silverberg, a graduate student in physics at Cornell, says, “Imagine this: A building collapses, and you have a snakelike robot that can go into debris. And as it unfolds, it goes from a soft robot to a rigid barrier that could protect people. It folds one way to crawl into tight spaces and another way to become a protective barrier. It can transform its function on the fly.” To see this robot in action, visit the Bloomberg News article on the subject.

 

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January 1, 2015

May your Holidays be Warm and Fanciful

Filed under: paper crafts, paper engineering — Tags: — popularkinetics @ 8:58 pm

Lovebird ParrotWe thought this little bird would brighten your holidays with her paper cutting skills. It looks like Bebe is dressing up for a fancy party, adding tail extensions. (Actually this is typical lovebird behavior. The birds gather materials for their nests and carry them tucked in their feathers). Watch her on video here.

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season and the best New Year ever, from Carol and Popular Kinetics Press.

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