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May 21, 2012

Purdue Researchers Create Robotics Inspired by Origami






 Robotics
Researchers have shown how to create morphing robotic mechanisms and shape-shifting sculptures from a single sheet of paper in a method reminiscent of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. The new method, called Kaleidogami, uses computational algorithms and tools to create precisely folded structures.
Researchers at Purdue University have shown how to create morphing robotic mechanisms and shape-shifting sculptures from a single sheet of paper in a method reminiscent of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

The new method, called Kaleidogami, uses computational algorithms and tools to create precisely folded structures.

"The approach represents new geometric algorithms and methods to create works of kinetic, or moving, art," said Karthik Ramani, Purdue University's Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

"Scientists and engineers are often motivated by the beauty of artistic representations while artists and architectural designers want to harness concepts from science, technology, engineering and mathematics. One of our aims is to provide a new geometry-inspired art form, reconfigurable structures, in the emerging field of kinetic art."

Whereas Kaleidogami focuses on artistic representations of sculptural structures, the researchers also have created a variation called Kinetogami to create foldable robotlike mechanisms. They envision robots that can "reconfigure" themselves to suit the terrain, morphing from a slithering inchworm motion to a six-legged walking gait.

"Our hexapod robotic mechanism can adjust its body frequently in an adaptive manner to provide a wide range of gaits: lying down, flipping itself up, rising, squatting, squirming and crawling," said mechanical engineering doctoral student Wei Gao. "The folded designs have an elegant simplicity, while using paper and cardboardlike materials that are flat is practical because they are very inexpensive and lightweight."

Findings about the concept are detailed in a research paper being presented during the Shape Modeling International 2012 conference on May 22-25 in College Station, Texas. Other findings specifically about the robotlike mechanisms with Kinetogami will be presented during the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Design Engineering Technical Conferences on Aug. 12-15 in Chicago.


SOURCE  Purdue University
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