Computational Origami: Flat Sheet Transforms Into Three-Dimensional Objects

Computational Origami: Flat Sheet Transforms Into Three-Dimensional Objects
technology

Researchers from Harvard and M.I.T. have teamed up to develop an electronics-embedded sheet that can be programmed to fold itself into different shapes.

Yofred Moik
  • 29 june 2010

Researchers from Harvard University and M.I.T. have developed a self-folding sheet inspired by Japan’s delicate art technique of Origami.  A series of flexible electronics enveloped inside a thin-sheet of fiberglass are programmed to perform a sequence of movements to form a desired shape.  The folded object maintains its structure through embedded magnetic closures.  Researchers hope that the development of this technology opens the door for numerous creative applications – such as a smart cup that adjusts itself to contain the volume of liquid needed, maps that can replicate the topography of a given region, or a swiss-army knife type of tool where a single template flexes its form to serve a variety of functions.  The long-term vision of this project aims to develop a more robust version that makes it simple to program the mechanical properties of everyday objects.

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