Self-folding paper straight out of Harvard

by Mark R

Hopefully you’ve had the pleasure of paper folding with origami, and you might want to check out this project from Harvard’s Robert Wood and team.

Wood has somehow managed to put tiny actuators onto pieces of origami paper, which will allow it to fold itself into many shapes. I have included a video of it after the jump so you can see it miraculously fold into a boat or a plane.

Okay, I’m guessing that this is some technology that you develop just to prove that you can do it, usually to prove that you can make something else. I honestly don’t have any use for paper that folds itself. Yes, I could use it for origami, but having origami paper that folds itself sort of takes the fun out of it. It would be like having a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces crawled together to form the picture on the box.

I believe that the team that developed this technology said that they wanted to use this for personal applications, such as resizing a cup of coffee for the amount of hot beverage it will hold. So if you wanted a small coffee, the large size cup would fold down to adjust for it.

So, that’s what were going to use this advanced tech for, coffee cups? There has got to be a better reason to have tech like this around. Normally I like concept technology like this, but I’m really racking my brain trying to think of what to use this for.

Go ahead and put in a comment if you can think of anything.

7 reviews or comments

Shannie Says: July 1, 2010 at 4:40 am

This is a neat parlor trick, It can be used as a automatic page turner, boxes that fold themselves, shoelaces that tie themselves (futuristic nikes). These are some pratical applications.

anup Says: July 1, 2010 at 10:55 am

Cool technology, I believe this works similar to our human muscle (expand and contract for moving body parts), this will have lot of applications

Kc Says: July 1, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I think it is just stop motion photography. I could be wrong, but it looks too choppy to be filmed in realtime.

Kc Says: July 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I take it all back. I’m now convinced it is really magic folding paper.

Adi Says: July 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm

You can create a tent that self construct.
Self folding shirt/clothes.
An expression art, you hook this thing to your brain wave and create art.

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