A large array of triangles and colored lines showing the folding pattern of the origami computer

Turing Complete Origami

Origami can be an interesting starting point for a project, but we weren’t expecting [Thomas C. Hull] and [Inna Zakharevich]’s Turing complete origami computer.

Starting with the constraint of flat origami (the paper folds back on top of itself), the researchers designed a system that could replicate all the functionality of the previously-proven Turing complete Rule 110 automaton. The researchers walk us through the construction of AND, OR, NAND, NOR, and NOT gates via paper as well as the various “wires” and “gadgets” that connect the operators or filter out noise.

Everything ends up a large mess of triangles and hexagons with optional creases to make the whole thing work. While the origami computer probably won’t be helping you slice 3D prints anytime soon, much like a Magic computer, the engineering and math involved may prove useful in other applications.

We’re no strangers to origami here, having covered origami machines, medical robots, or using a desktop vinyl cutter to pre-score your project.

Tiny Robots That Bring Targeted Drug Delivery And Treatment A Little Bit Closer

Within the world of medical science fiction they are found everywhere: tiny robots that can zip through blood vessels and intestines, where they can deliver medication, diagnose medical conditions and even directly provide treatment. Although much of this is still firmly in the realm of science-fiction, researchers at Stanford published work last year on an origami-based type of robots, controlled using an external magnetic field. Details can be found in the Nature Communications paper. Continue reading “Tiny Robots That Bring Targeted Drug Delivery And Treatment A Little Bit Closer”

Ply Your Craft With Tubular Origami

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have just published a paper on creating modular tubular origami machines which they call “Kinegami”, a portmanteau of “kinematic” and “origami”.

Diagrams of "kinegami" folds for various modules and joint mechanism

The idea behind their work is to create individual modules and joint mechanisms that can then be chained together to create a larger “serial” robot. Some example joints they propose are “prismatic” joints, allowing for linear motion, and “revolute” joints, which allow for rotational motion. One of the more exciting aspects of this process is that the joint mechanisms are origami-like structures which can be constructed from a single piece of flat material which is folded and glued together to make the module. Of particular interest is that the crease pattern for the origami-like folds can be laser cut into a material, cardboard or thin acrylic for example, which can be used as a guide to create the resulting structure. The crease patterns for the supporting structures, such as tubes or joints, can be taken from pre-formatted patterns or customized, so this method is very accessible to the hobbyist and could allow for a rich new method of rapid project prototyping.

The researchers go on to discuss how to create the composition of modules from a specification of joints and links (from a “Denavit-Hartenberg” specification) to attaching the junctures together while respecting curvature constraints (via the “Dubins path”). Their paper offers the gritty details along with the available accompanying source files. Origami hacking is a favorite subject of ours and we’ve featured articles on the use of origami in medical technology to creating inflatable actuators.

Video after the break!

Continue reading “Ply Your Craft With Tubular Origami”

Cranes made by Origami (Orizuru). The height is 35mm.

Bringing The Art Of Origami And Kirigami To Robotics And Medical Technology

Traditionally, when it comes to high-tech self-assembling microscopic structures for use in medicine delivery, and refined, delicate grippers for robotics, there’s been a dearth of effective, economical options. While some options exist, they are rarely as effective as desired, with microscopic medicine delivery mechanisms, for example, not having the optimal porosity. Similarly, in so-called soft robotics, many compromises had to be made.

A promising technology here involves the manipulation of flat structures in a way that enables them to either auto-assemble into 3D structures, or to non-destructively transform into 3D structures with specific features such as grippers that might be useful in both micro- and macroscopic applications, including robotics.

Perhaps the most interesting part is how much of these technologies borrow from the Japanese art of origami, and the related kirigami.

Continue reading “Bringing The Art Of Origami And Kirigami To Robotics And Medical Technology”

Illuminating Origami Is Just Around The Corner

Pop-up greeting cards are about to get a whole lot more interesting. Researchers at Seoul National University in Korea have created glowing 3D objects with a series of prototypes that fold thin QLED (Quantum Dot LED) sheets like origami. They used a CO2 laser to etch “fold lines” in the QLED so the sheets could be formed into 3D shapes. The bends are actually rounded, but at 5μm they appear to be sharp corners and the panels continue to illuminate across the fold lines for at least 500 folds. Some glow in solid colors, while others use smaller addressable areas to create animated matrix displays of patterns and letterforms. See the short video after the break, read the Physics World article or to see all the prototypes and dig into details of the full research paper in Nature (freed from the paywall by SharedIt).

We’re not sure how soon this technique can be duplicated in our home labs, but we can’t wait to fold up our own 3D lights and matrices. Until then, check out some glowing origami you can make right now from [Charlyn Gonda] at Remoticon 2020 and earlier that year and this amazing origami lamp.

Continue reading “Illuminating Origami Is Just Around The Corner”

Remoticon Video: Making Glowy Origami With Charlyn Gonda

Hacking is about pushing the envelope to discover new and clever ways to use things in ways their original designers never envisioned. [Charlyn Gonda]’s Hackaday Remoticon workshop “Making Glowly Origami” was exactly that; a combination of the art of origami with the one of LEDs. Check out the full course embedded below, and read on for a summary of what you’ll find. Continue reading “Remoticon Video: Making Glowy Origami With Charlyn Gonda”

Circuit Board Origami Puts You Face-to-Face With Low-Poly Electronics

Paper craft has been around almost as long as paper itself. It’s fun to mimic paper craft and origami with low-poly 3D prints, and [Stephen Hawes] wondered whether it could be done with copper-clad PCBs. Two years after the question arose, we have the answer in the form of a fantastical mask with light-up eyes. Check it out in the video below.

[Stephen] started with a model (Update: [kongorilla]’s 2012 low poly mask model from back in 2012 was the starting point for this hack) from the papercraft program Pepakura Designer, then milled out dozens of boards. Only a few of them support circuitry, but it was still quite the time-consuming process. The ATmega32U4 on the forehead along with the fold-traversing circuitry serve to light up the WS2812B eyes. Power runs up the copper tube, which doubles as a handy mounting rod to connect to the 3D printed base.

Continue reading “Circuit Board Origami Puts You Face-to-Face With Low-Poly Electronics”