Scientists at MIT have pulled up a very tiny curtain on their newest invention: a 1.7cm square robot capable of assembling itself like a piece of origami. The Untethered Miniature Origami Robot is powered by a small neodymium magnet and four electromagnetic coils underneath the robot’s surface that create magnet fields necessary for it to operate. The small robot can walk on different surfaces, climb, carry objects twice its own weight, swim in shallow water, burrow, and it even completely dissolves in an acetone solution leaving behind just the magnet.
So what can we do with super tiny self-folding robots? Researchers hope to develop even smaller autonomous robots with additional sensors that can dissolve in water. Such tiny devices could have a variety of medical uses when introduced inside of a human body, maybe zapping cancer cells or cleaning clogged arteries. You can read more about it over at IEEE and in this research paper. (via Laughing Squid)
Often one associates origami with sharp and precise folds, miniature works that have a crisp perfection. Origami artist Hoang Tien Quyet shies away from this rigidity, instead folding his small objects with a technique called “wet-folding,” which allows curves to be created instead of the typical straight lines. With this technique Vietnam-based Quyet creates posed animals bounding with personality, their heads tilted and wings ready for flight.
The technique of wet folding was created by the late origami master Akira Yoshizawa, and involves dampening the paper so it easily accepts folds. Wet-folding gives the paper works a more realistic appearance, adds a rounded quality to the origami, and allows it to appear malleable even though the pieces dry into hardened forms. Wet-folding also involves using a thicker paper, as traditional origami paper would easily tear if wet.
Quyet is co-author of two books, “50 hours Origami +” and “VOG2 – origami.vn,” both published by Passion Origami. Quyet’s skill and has lead to him being invited to several international origami conventions, including Germany, France, Italy, and Japan. You can see more images of Quyet’s animals on his Flickr. (via My Modern Met)
Not content with boring old inanimate origami, Japanese designer and maker Ugoita T. assembled this clever electromagnetic stage to bring his paper cranes to life. While the idea of moving paper creations around with magnets is fun, it’s the synchronization that really makes this hilarious. (via Digg)
Origami artist and chemistry teacher Adam Tram folds some incredibly beautiful objects with paper. From dinosaurs and skeletons to flowers and warriors, it seems nothing is off limits to his folding abilities. Tram is a member of the Vietnam Origami Group, and you can see many more of his pieces on Flickr.
Partially inspired by Erik Åberg’s interlocking kinetic cube system Ghostcubes, Brasil-based origami artist Jo Nakashima created a method for building a similar object using a system of 40 paper cubes. For those of you ambitious enough to give it a try he shared a set of instructions on Instructables. Just 45 steps!
New York-based artist Paul Louise-Julie has spent the last 7 years researching African civilizations and art, including a year-long journey to West Africa and the Sahara Desert. These sculptures (and 3D paintings) are part of a resulting body of work Louise-Julie created in response to his discoveries and experiences there. The pieces represent a successful collision of artistic methods and themes from multiple cultures, blending ideas from Western contemporary art, traditional African methods, and even Japanese-influenced origami and paper craft. The artworks you see here are among his first sculptures. Louise-Julie is also working on a companion graphic novel that will be released gradually starting later this year.
A huge exhibition of 80 contemporary origami artists featuring 120 paper creations is planned to take place this summer at Cooper Union in New York. Cooper Union was the site of the first origami exhibition in the United States 55 years ago. Titled Surface to Structure , the event is curated by Uyen Nguyen who is seeking funding on Indiegogo to help transport the numerous fragile artworks across the globe from 5 different continents. There’s all kinds of fancy origami perks if you’re interested. Donated. (via Colossal Submissions)