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Programmable Origami 84

sciencehabit sends this snip from Science Magazine, with included video: "Researchers have created flat sheets of composite material that can fold themselves into toy boats, tents, and even paper airplanes. Based on the ancient art of origami, the sheets are edged by foil actuators — thin, solid-state motors — that contract or expand when they receive an electric current from flexible electronic circuits embedded in the sheets. After they achieve their preprogrammed shape, the sheets are held in place by tiny magnets on the edges of the fold joints. Researchers say the technology could be scaled up to create ultra-portable tripods or even cups that automatically adjust to the size of liquid being poured into them."
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Programmable Origami

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  • MMMMMMM! Origami! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:48AM (#32727262)

    As an origamist with an interest in nanotechnology, I could see a few EXTREMELY useful applications for this. I heard it said once that scientists were testing the idea that nano-switches for computer chips could be folded from nano-sheets of metal. Imagine a computer with hardware that literally reforms its self to accomplish new tasks on the fly. Given, programming it would be about the most difficult thing to accomplish, but it would still be a fun toy to play with...

  • Re:MMMMMMM! Origami! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:50AM (#32727268)
    literal protein folding @home
  • Remote Construction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CaptainOfSpray ( 1229754 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:12AM (#32727788)
    This will be how we make the first self-erecting buildings of our Moon base , with no astronauts present until they are ready for occupation. Also it will be how our explorers on Mars carry their emergency shelters, for when they have to wait to be rescued after digging their rover into a sandpit.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.