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— Science

Origami and the art of structural engineering

From military shelters and solar arrays to batteries and drones, engineers continue to prove that origami can be the inspiration for more than just paper cranes. The latest creation inspired by the ancient art of paper folding is a new "zippered tube" design that forms paper structures with enough stiffness to support weight, but can be folded flat for shipping or storage. The scaleable technique could be used in anything from microscopic robots and biomedical devices, to buildings and bridges.

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— Architecture

Origami-inspired military shelter said to cut energy use by 70 percent

The ancient art of origami has inspired all kinds of modern technological endeavors, from drones to bridges to batteries and low-cost emergency housing. The latest project to join the fold comes from US-based engineers who have developed a deployable shelter that can be shipped on a standard military pallet, improving the quality of life for soldiers while cutting energy consumption in the process.

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— Science

Origami "collapse" designs inspire reversibly self-folded 3D structures

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have appropriated a less-common technique of origami known as "collapse"-type, in which all folds are carried out more or less simultaneously, to create complex reversibly self-folded 3D structures around a millimeter in size. The new technique is expected to have applications in soft robotics, mechanical metamaterials, and biomimetic systems (synthetic systems that mimic systems from nature). Read More
— Marine

Oru updates its foldable kayak into the new Bay+

Many foldable boat designs have passed through the pages of Gizmag over recent years – the Quickboat, the Foldaboat, the Adhoc and others. The Oru origami-style kayak seemed to be the one to make the biggest splash (yeah, bad pun), raising close to $450K (5x its goal) on Kickstarter and earning all kinds of media and industry attention, including a 2014 ISPO Product of the Year award. Rather than resting on its accomplishments, Oru has been listening to feedback and tweaking its foldable design, resulting in the all-new Bay+. Read More
— Robotics

Origami-style transformer self-assembles before scuttling away

An origami-inspired robot that self-assembles and then scuttles away under its own power has been revealed by researchers from Harvard University and MIT. Still in the experimental stage, the prototype is able to transform itself from a flat structure into a moving, functional machine in around four minutes before scrambling away under its own power at a speed of about 2 in (5 cm) per second. Read More
— Around The Home

Origami-like mini-greenhouse lets urbanites grow their own microgreens

Once thought of as an urban hippy fad, the concept of growing produce in the inner-city has started to become more of an accepted idea. Not only does it give urban gardeners the chance to get in touch with their inner farmer, but it also helps supplement the vegetable portion of the daily diet. For Infarm, the idea of grow-your-own comes in the form of a small, origami-like greenhouse, specifically designed to grow tiny baby greens known as microgreens. Read More
— Space

Engineers create origami-inspired solar array for space deployment

One big problem when sending things into space is, well, space. Rockets have limited payload capacity and given the costs involved, every inch counts. That's why Brigham Young University researchers have turned to origami as their inspiration. Their folding solar array is designed to be compact at launch and expand to around 10 times its size once it's deployed in outer space. Read More
— Good Thinking

Cardborigami fuses cardboard and origami to shelter the homeless

Sadly, widespread homelessness isn’t going away any time soon, and until society works out a larger solution, ideas are needed to improve the living conditions of people without a home right now. One such idea put forward is a cardboard-constructed pop-up shelter dubbed “Cardborigami,” which is designed to serve as a transitional shelter until a permanent home is found. Read More