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This paper contains a selection of case studies and reflections on the material thinking involved in making oribots, with specific consideration given to artistic and scientific decision-making. ‘Oribotics’ is a field of research that refers to the convergent practice of Origami and Robotics. The term ‘Oribotics’ was coined by Gardiner inn 2003 and published by exhibition in 2004: ‘Ori’ from the Japanese verb for ‘fold’ and ‘Bot’ as a contraction of ‘robot’, Oribotics explores the relationship between folding, nature, folding and robotics. Oribotics contains several trains of thought and disciplines that oscillate in importance in direct relationship to the phase of making. The case studies in this paper reflect a convergence of disciplines, particularly: origami, robotics (specifically kinetic art), fabrication and interaction design. The paper includes an introduction relating to recent developments in origami and technology, a brief introduction of Oribotics, followed by a reflective explanation of the material processes relating to longevity, origami, biomimetic design, and the interaction design.
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Symmetry: Culture and Science
Vol. 26, No. 2, 189-202, 2015
Matthew Gardiner
Matthew Gardiner, (b. Shepparton, Australia, 1976).
Address: Ars Electronica Futurelab, Ars Electronica Straße 1, 4040 Linz, Austria.
University of Newcastle, School of Creative Arts, Corner Auckland and Layman Streets, Newcastle, NSW
2300 Australia
Fields of interest: Oribotics, Origami, Robotics, Interaction Design, Fabrication/Making, Textile Pleating,
Software Development, Fold Painting (also Photography/Videography, Surfing, and Combat Geometry).
Awards: Ars Electronica Residency (2010), Rupert Bunny Fellowship (2010); Australian Postgraduate Award
(2013); FWF PEEK for: ORI* On the Aesthetics of Folding and Technology (2014).
Publications and/or Exhibitions:
Gardiner, M. (2015). On the Aesthetics of Folding and Technology: Scale, Dimensionality, and Materiality. In
R. J. Lang (Ed.), Origami 6. Natick, MA: AK Peters.
Gardiner, M. (2013). Yours Synthetically. In Ars Electronica: Total Recall The Evolution of Memory (pp.
236251). Linz, Austria: Hatje Cantz.
Gardiner, M. (2012). The functional aesthetic of folding: keynote address. In Proceedings of the Sixth
International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (pp. 1718). New York, NY,
USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2148131.2148133
Gardiner, M. (2010). Oribotics [the future unfolds]. Ars Electronica Festival, Linz Austria
Gardiner, M. (2005). Oribotics [laboratory]. Asialink Centre, Melbourne University, Australia
Abstract: This paper contains a selection of case studies and reflections on the material
thinking involved in making oribots, with specific consideration given to artistic and
scientific decision-making. Oribotics is a field of research that refers to the
convergent practice of Origami and Robotics. The term ‘Oribotics’ was coined by
Gardiner inn 2003 and published by exhibition in 2004: ‘Ori’ from the Japanese verb
for ‘fold’ and ‘Bot’ as a contraction of ‘robot’, Oribotics explores the relationship
between folding, nature, folding and robotics. Oribotics contains several trains of
thought and disciplines that oscillate in importance in direct relationship to the phase of
making. The case studies in this paper reflect a convergence of disciplines, particularly:
origami, robotics (specifically kinetic art), fabrication and interaction design. The
paper includes an introduction relating to recent developments in origami and
technology, a brief introduction of Oribotics, followed by a reflective explanation of the
material processes relating to longevity, origami, biomimetic design, and the
interaction design.
Keywords: Origami, Robotics, Fabrication, Interaction Design, Biomimetic robotics.
Origami has long been appreciated aesthetically with a rich history of cultural
significance (Hatori, 2011), derived from the appreciation of paper as a material, and the
process oriented act of folding. It is only in relatively recent years, that origami became
appreciated for its functional properties; for its mechanical, structural, and theoretical
affordances. Although we find mechanical and functional uses of folded materials
earlier, such as the Asian hand fan, piano accordion, and camera bellows, it was Koryo
Miura who pioneered high-tech mechanical folding by use of folding mechanisms and
stored kinetic energy in satellite projects at ISAS (Miura, 1985). Structural uses have
been studied and performed at several scales including: the folding of short strands of
DNA known as DNA Origami (Rothemund, 2005); the design of the so-called ‘origami-
stentthat expands due to body heat and retains its shape increased strength from the
folded structure (Kuribayashi, 2004); Hunt gives us a broad overview of the functional
appreciation of the folds arising from buckling in the earth’s surface (Hunt, 2010) and
the geological understanding of folds along the lines of tectonic plates. Contemporary
artists have examined folded mechanisms; Geoffrey Drake-Brockmann’s array of 128
Floribots employ a simple inverting origami mechanism made from the children’s
origami toy known as a cootie-catcher/fortune teller/chatterbox, the mechanism rises
and falls, snapping open and closed. The origami flapping birda traditional Japanese
origami designuses tension created by pulling on the tail of the bird to flap the wings.
A mechanism at the bottom of the bird is a kind of rolling hinge, shortening the bottom
of the wing, causing it to curl downwards, the elasticity of the paper returns the wings
back to their original position as the tension on the tail is released. The opening motion
of flowers has been studied and illustrated by Biruta Kresling et al (Kobayashi,
Kresling, & Vincent, 1998), and the hornbeam leaf is shown to literally unfold during
its growth cycle. Kresling also looks at more complex unfoldings of insect wings, and
growth patterns in bamboo (Kresling, 1994). Kresling also refers to the growth pattern
of the pine cone, or pineapple as a model for the complex folding used for the ‘origami-
stent’ mentioned above, this pattern is also used for the Oribotics fanned ‘flower’
pattern and Kresling and Girardi’s sandwich core (Kresling, 2012). Many joints in
animals are hinges (linkages or rigid origami joints); joints in crustaceans are often
constrained to one degree of freedom due to the hard exo-skeletal structures, and have
excellent biomimetic solutions for robotic applications. Like these examples above,
much of the material thinking (Carter, 2004) found in the practice of Oribotics can be
traced to ideas embedded in the function and aestheticthe functional aesthetics of
folding. These examples above show that other researchers, from a variety of fields,
have found methods to explore the relationship between nature and folding. That we
find folding as a programming language for matter (Gardiner, 2015), makes oribotics a
natural fit for creative applications of the human hand, computation, and fabrication.
The sections in this case study tease out a selection of key processes and considerations,
in effort to reveal the material thinking, and relationship between adjacent research
fields and their impact on oribotic practice. We will investigate the factors of longevity,
a methodical approach to the origami design, biomimetic design, and light and colour in
forming a biological metaphor within the interaction dramaturgy.
For the reader unfamiliar with Oribotics: it is a field of artistic research that fuses the art
of origami with the technology of robotics. Since the coining of the term Oribotics by
Matthew Gardiner, and the making of the first Oribot in 2003-2004, the field has been
primarily concerned with the fabrication and actuation of robotic folded surfaces. A
number of iterations have been accomplished: Oribotics [origin] (2004) a work
consisting of five oribotic blossoms make from paper and LEGO, triggered by a touch
screen interface, with projections of stop motion flowers opening, as is the robots were
in a Pinocchio like state of dreaming of being real flowers; Oribotics [laboratory]
(2005) an installation of 15 oribots, again blossoms, that are connected via internet to
global weather patterns and soundscapes; Oribotics [network] (2007) intricately folded
oribots that ‘grow’ on glass architectural surfaces and are controlled via live news and
information feeds (twitter would have made a big difference to this project); and
Oribotics [the future unfolds] (2010) the largest installation consisting of 50 oribots,
featuring 52,500 folds in pleated polyester fabric, 3D printed over 1800 hours in the Ars
Electronica Fablab, and interactively responsive to the audience. The innovations and
solutions discussed in this paper are related to the 2010 generation of oribots.
Figure 1. Above from left: Oribot ’skeletons’: Oribotics [laboratory] 2005, Oribotics [network] 2007,
Oribotics [the future unfolds] 2010. Below from left: Photographs of corresponding Oribotic generations:
2005, 2007, 2010.
The first Oribotic artwork, Oribotics [origin] (Gardiner, 2004, 2009), premiered in 2004
at the Next Wave Festival at the artist-run Uplands Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, took
months to conceive and make, and by the end of the one week exhibition, every single
robot had self-destructed due to stressful forces and naïve choices of materials. The
audience somehow adored and felt sympathy for these delicatebut poorly engineered
robotsexpressed in knowing nods and comments over trials and tribulations with
technology that never performs when needed. Despite the affectionate concern from the
audience, the question of “How can I make my oribots survive longer?” arose as a
significant objective to overcome.
The solutions arrived incrementally, it was a matter of trial and error, good ideas and
determination over six years, a succession of project grants, three artistic residencies,
and unrestricted access to the Ars Electronica FabLab, in Linz, Austria, to find a
reliable approach to solving the problem of longevity. Folding a material permanently is
the subject of origami for paper, or bending for metal or plastics. Folding and unfolding
ad infinitum is a vastly different problem. Metal hinges offer a possible solution, but for
a complex folding pattern the engineering process is overly complex, and hinged
mechanisms can accumulate friction, requiring a large amount of actuation force.
The solution lay in material and process research outside of origami: in fabric pleating.
A section on fabric pleating, explained in Designer Origami (Gardiner, 2013) illustrates
and details the process of fabric pleating for the origamist. One fabricates two
identically folded sheets of paper that serve as the top and bottom of a form (mould), the
fabric sheet is laid between the sheets and the three-layer sandwich is collapsed to a flat
folded state, and steamed (using a conventional oven at 160º for 15 minutes) to heat-set
the folded pattern. The material choices are silk or polyester; as both materials can be
deformed by heat. Polyester was chosen for a secondary reason; the edge can be cleanly
laser cut; the threads melt and fuse together, so no stitching of the fabric is required.
3.1. One million seven hundred and fifty thousand cycles and counting
No generation of oribots has been tested longer and harder than the 2010 generation of
oribots. In the two-year exhibition from 2010 to 2012 the Ars Electronica Centre in
Linz, Austria, the daily operation of 25 oribots required planned, and accidental
maintenance. The planned maintenance was the replacement of the HiTec 225MG servo
motors after their periodic burn-out. Accidental maintenance can be attributed to a
visitor applying a violent amount of force to an oribot, damaging a mechanical
component. With an estimate of five openings and closings per minute, the number of
cycles of the crease pattern opening and closing per Oribot would total approximately
1,750,000. The folded structure of heat-programmed (pleated) polyester fabric shows no
sign of wear visible to the naked eye.
Figure 2. Pairs of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of folds and detailed enlargments. From top
left clockwise: A fold made by hand, shows signs of fibre delamination; A low power laser score in paper,
note the roughness of the vaporised fibres; A valley fold over a laser score (scored on opposite side), note the
clear delineation of the depression along the crease; A fold in woven polyester fabric, note that folded fibres
show no sign of delamination or damage. Images thanks to Ars Electronica & Stefan Schwarzmair.
Figure 3 Left: SEM image of the laser cut polyester fabric edge, threads are fused. Right: the cleanly cut and
pleated polyester.
Figure 2 gives insight into the difference between folding, laser scoring, folding on laser
scores, and a fold heat pressed into polyester fabric. Fold movements damage paper,
scoring by laser or knife does even more damage; a folding mechanism is under
constant movement, and therefore prone to failure. This is visibly evident in the 2005
generation of oribots, where a paper with a special reflective coating was used. The
paper failed at the corners and along the hinges, and the same was evident in the 2007
generation, which used a machine scored and folded plastic paper. The ideal material
can be fold programmed with no damage to the material. All of these areas for failure
can be seen in Figure 2: fibre delamination and damage from scoring, all except the
beautifully folded fabric, the perfect material. Because after all: without longevity there
is no work to experience!
An additional benefit of using polyester is that when laser cut, the heat of the laser beam
causes the fibres to melt and the threads fuse along the edge of the material, thus
preventing fraying of the fabric sheet. Figure 3 shows an SEM image of a section of
laser cut polyester. Aesthetically, as this result is invisible to the human eye and the
material is precisely sealed, the result is superior to methods such as stitching.
Origami, and more recently, origami science contains material thinking that involves
folded paper models, computational simulations of crease patterns, and sculptural
development in CAD software. My process begins with inspiration from insights
through research, and develops through visualization from which the cyclic workflow of
modeling, combined with developability and/or kinetic trial and error testing. A design
oriented process, focused on clear aims, and clear indications of when it is, and isn’t
In the case of Oribotics [network] (“Oribotics [network] on Vimeo,” 2007)the
beginning of my use of the ananas’ (a term coined by Kresling in 1992), also named
‘waterbomb’the process was influenced by two key works: an artistic illustration of an
unfolding leaf by Biruta Kresling (Kobayashi et al., 1998), and the presentation of the
medical stent design by Kaori Kuribayashi (You & Kuribayashi, 2009) at 4OSME in
California. Whilst holding a sheet of paper folded with the ananas pattern, and
observing that when one begins to collapse the folds the sheet curves, the thought
occurred to experiment with the folded form by ‘fanning’ the vertical fold lines. The
oribotics fanned pattern owes its particular motion to the constraint of the curved edges
which are stiff (invariable geometry) and move radially to the figure's central axis. The
chosen fan solution is hence different from that of the cylindrical pattern in
Kuribayashi's ‘origami-stent’ with axially oriented 'scales' or the free borders of
Kresling's and Girardi's sandwich-core with either parallel or perpendicular scales.
Figure 4. From left, the base Ananas pattern; the fanned pattern is constructed by scaling the bottom edge by
75% (3/4 harmonic ratio); half of the pattern; half as flat folded; a chain of flat folded units showing the curve
of the sheet; a geometric analysis of scale and proportion between units.
Figure 5. Left: the simple geometric modification in the crease pattern of shifting the center bottom vertex
upwards. Right: the final WB75 crease pattern with 5x5 rows and columns (5 has been a recurrent number for
the oribotic blossom design for the reason that 5-fold symmetrical geometries bridge the fibbonacci series and
golden ratio, echoing the beauty found through geometrical studies of nature).
After a number of experiments that varied the fanning angle, the critical point was the
appearance of the resultant curves across the sheet. The curves were observed during
various phases of expansion or contraction. The base units of the modified ananas
pattern are described and geometrically analysed in Figure 4. This unit was compared
against a number of other scaling ratios and selected for the aesthetic qualities of the
folded model.
Figure 6. The pleated polyester, mounted on one of the first 2010 generation of oribots.
More obtuse scaling produced fanning curvature that was too extreme, and less scaling
created too little curvature. The final choice of scale ratio was determined on the
following factors: the rate of growth between units, and the curve of the folded pattern
(see Figure 4 right). Figure 5 shows the intermediate design steps of adjusting the
pattern for tessellation. The pattern is called WB75 (Water Bomb 75%) as a record of
the scale ratio of 75%, a known Pythagorean harmonic 4:3. Figure 6 shows the fanning
pattern, and pleating in detail as seen from above the ‘mouth’ of the oribot.
The 2007 generation of oribots included RGB LEDs to illuminate the crease pattern
from the inside of the blossom, and to accentuate the already nocturnal aspect of the
work. The wires for the LEDs were visible. My process was to ask the question, how
does nature make articulations in exoskeletons? The process was: purchase a sizable
crab from the local fish market, cook it at home, use a magnifying glass to inspect the
details during deconstruction (and consumption) to research the hinged articulations of a
Figure 7. Left: a sketch and simplication of the crabs double ball and socket plus cup joint; and Right: the
oribotic biomimetic simplification. The result, a free moving, single degree of freedom hinged joint with
space for cabling through the core of the exoskeleton (cabling not illustrated).
The structure illustrated in Figure 7 has ball and socket joints at either end of the hinge
structure, and an additional outer cup that is spiral shaped and limits the range of
movement of the joint. Given its small size and use of little material, the joint is very
strong and the hinge rotates perfectly along the axis, with no wobble. The gap between
the two articulations contains a fleshy, rubbery, protective muscle. The oribotic
articulation system is a simplification of the joint illustrated in Figure 7 above, two ball
and socket joints form the hinge, and the small outer cup on the upper arm section limits
torsional movement in the joint. The oribotic joint also mimics the exoskeletal structure,
to allow an internal channel for the cabling. The final product is from a Fuse Deposit
Modelling (FDM) 3D printer, a Stratasys Dimension Elite, and the finest print
resolution (0.178mm) is still coarse when the joint structure is so delicate, therefore the
air gap in joints as adjusted to be loose (approximately 0.20mm) rather than tight (0.10
0.05mm). Important to note is that this gap is only marginally larger than the layer print
resolution, though adjustments of 0.1mm increments were noticeable when testing the
friction in a build of the robotic mechanism. This subtlety of nature appears to have
been overlooked thus far by biomimetics, my research to date indicates that the analysis
of the crab joint structure is novel. Use of FDM to build insect inspired joints was
undertaken by (Bailey, Cham, Cutkosky, & Full, 2000). Rynkevic dissects, measures,
evaluates and virtually simulate a spider crabs walk in (Rynkevic, Silva, & Marques,
2013) including close up photos of a spider crab knee joint (see p. 25). Neither paper
mentions the unique structure of the joint, or the efficient use of materials and strength.
With regard to performance and strength of the joint, it is the weakest structural
component, but after 5 years of exhibitions, I have repaired approximately 5% of the
joints with new components. Repairs in the first three years were limited to fractures
incurred due to transport (road vibration and shock) and installation damage
(mishandling of the object by the audience or technician), and I have only seen a few
joints broken through age in the last year (2014). In joints that broke down through
aging (natural cause), the plastic of the pin was worn down through friction, and the
socket was full of dust sized plastic particles. The solution is to replace the plastic
components with machined or cast metal components, thus requiring an alternative
design to suit the machining process. The unique double ball and socket and outer cup
joint was possible due to additive manufacturing.
Figure 8. A woman in Tokyo completes the interaction cycle with a video recording, the human-as-bee
foraging for new data-as-pollen.
During my period since 2010 as an artist/researcher at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, I
have learned to approach interaction design through scripting the dramaturgy between
the viewer and a work. Consideration is given to the viewer and the affordance offered
through the functional and aesthetic design.
Embedded meaning, or perceived meaning, from the interactions is achieved through
the conceptualisation of a story or number of overlapping stories; some are physically
derived, others are from abstract concepts fundamental to the functional aesthetic of the
Figure 9. Behaviour of the oribot in terms of colour, relative size, and distance between the actor and object.
At 4m the oribot is blue, at 1cm the oribot is bright red, the colours graduate from blue, cyan, green, yellow,
orange to red.
A design feature of the 2010 oribot is a 1cm~4m continuous range of interaction
directly in front of the ‘stamen’ mounted ultrasonic distance sensor (UK Robotics part
SRF01). Biologically the stamen is the fertilizing organ of a flower, containing pollen,
the visual stimuli of a flower (colour, shape, size) assists a foraging bee to locate a
flower from a distance (Spaethe, Tautz, & Chittka, 2001). In this case, the stamen
sensor is responsible for increasing the attractiveness of the oribotic blossom by
increasing the size (angle of blossom opening) proportionally to the distance of the
viewer from the oribot and also to cause change in colour of LEDs. The LED colours
are programmed to change in direct proportion to the opening, see Figure 8, the colours
go from ‘cool’ blues when an object is 4m away to ‘hot’ red when the object is within
15cm. These colours are heightened for the audiences eyes in a darkened environment,
this maximises contrast between the background and the luminous folded petal
blossoms, another factor identified as aiding the foraging bee (Spaethe et al., 2001). The
dramaturgical metaphor of the human-as-bee foraging for ‘pollen’ is resolved when the
audience does their ‘collecting’. This takes place when the viewer becomes so engaged
that they photograph or take a video recording for sharing to their social network.
This paper gives insight into the material thinking, and the accumulated knowledge
related to the making and longevity of oribotics. In particular we focused on the
longevity of pleated polyester as robotic folded surface; the approach to designing an
oribotic origami pattern; the novel application of biomimetic crab joint for the purpose
of making an exoskeleton to protect cabling and still allow movement; and the
biological interaction metaphor of a foraging bee, including a system of colours and
morphology. The material thinking informs the experience of the work, and the
symmetry between the nature of origami, and the origami of nature is one of the highest
goals in the study of oribotics: to achieve a reflective state of the audience, wherein the
audience considers the folded forms of nature and their environment in a new way.
Gardiner, M. (2015). On the Aesthetics of Folding and Technology: Scale, Dimensionality, and Materiality. In
R. J. Lang (Ed.), Origami 6. Natick, MA: AK Peters.
Rynkevic, R., Silva, M., & Marques, M. (2013). Biomechanical modeling and simulation of the spider crab
(maja brachydactyla). In Bioengineering (ENBENG), 2013 IEEE 3rd Portuguese Meeting in (pp. 16).
Gardiner, M. (2013). Designer Origami. Melbourne, Australia: Hinkler Books. Retrieved from
Hatori, K. (2011). History of Origami in the East and the West before Interfusion. In Origami 5: Fifth
International Meeting of Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education (p. 3). CRC Press.
Hunt, G. W. (2010). Reflections and symmetries in space and time. IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics,
Gardiner, M. (2009). A Brief History of Oribotics. In R. J. Lang (Ed.), Origami 4 (pp. 5160). Natick, MA:
AK Peters.
You, Z., & Kuribayashi, K. (2009). Expandable Tubes with Negative Poisson’s Ratio and Their Application
in Medicine. In R. J. Lang (Ed.), Origami 4 (pp. 117127). Natick, MA: AK Peters.
Oribotics [network] on Vimeo. (2007). Retrieved February 24, 2015, from
Rothemund, P. W. K. (2005). Design of DNA origami. In Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE/ACM International
conference on Computer-aided design (pp. 471478). Washington, DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society.
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Kuribayashi, K. (2004). A Novel Foldable Stent Graft. Univesity of Oxford.
Carter, P. (2004). Material thinking: The theory and practice of creative research. Melbourne University
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Spaethe, J., Tautz, J., & Chittka, L. (2001). Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: flower size and color
affect search time and flight behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(7), 3898
Bailey, S. A., Cham, J. G., Cutkosky, M. R., & Full, R. J. (2000). Biomimetic robotic mechanisms via shape
deposition manufacturing. In ROBOTICS RESEARCH-INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM- (Vol. 9, pp.
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... The hypothesis that folding is a language used by nature becomes apparent when one investigates the occurrence of folds throughout nature. In (Gardiner, 2015a), the concept of scale, dimensionality and materiality are discussed. The paper introduces evidence that folding exists at all scales of nature, from the nanoscale through to the universal scale. ...
... We find folds, buckling in structural geology (Hunt, 2010), in the earth's topography; one can the perceive folds of landscapes (in the language of origami the terms mountain and valley evoke such landscapes) formed by tectonic movements, a mountain range with rugged peaks, and the worn down folds of rolling hills. (Gardiner, 2015a) This recurrence of folding as a natural phenomenon does not stop there. The conceptual and real relationship between nature to folding is highlighted through research papers involving Kresling wherein her visual studies show clear origami-like structures in nature (Kresling, 1997, Kobayashi et al. (1998, Kresling (2012), Kresling et al. (2008) Chance and the connection between nature's spontaneous fold programs are discussed in detail in the sections below. ...
... The following sections (By-Chance Folding, By-Hand Folding and By-Code Folding, includingFigure 4.3) are quoted, and in places paraphrased for clarity from(Gardiner, 2015a): ...
Full-text available
The art of oribotics involves a process of imagining and creating geometry for static and kinetic origami structures to fit a desired form. It is a two-fold difficult task. Firstly, tools for calculating the geometry are few, and those existing lack key aesthetic and functional criteria specific to my artistic practice. Secondly, material issues, such as durability and complex foldability, compound the issues for fabrication. Existing methods, even those applying digital fabrication, pose complex folding problems that confound origami experts. Case studies are provided of leading origamists working with software, fabrication and materials to analyse and summarise processes. Analysis of these led to the synthesis and identification of differentiating criteria that inspired the invention of two key methods: Fold-Mapping and Fold-Printing. Fold-Mapping abstracts naturally occurring origami patterns into fold-molecules for tessellation across target geometric surfaces. It allows an artist to prioritise the sculptural shape of the result while seeking a kinetic solution through experimentation with different fold-molecules. A developability algorithm then flattens the crease pattern into geometry for fabrication. Fold-Printing allows the fabrication of Fold-Mapping results. It includes results of high-order complex-foldability by 3D printing whereby polymers are deposited onto textiles forming a durable polymer plate-structure separated by perfect textile hinges. Evaluation of the methods is two-fold. Firstly, the methods were continuously evaluated and refined through invention based trial-and-error. Secondly, the artefacts were evaluated according to a set of aesthetic criteria which in this thesis are collectively called ORI* theory. ORI* theory includes origami and oribotic criteria, and a metric for complex-foldability. For proof of concept, the methods are presented as an evaluated set of successful traits and developed solutions. These produce developable crease patterns from target geometries and afford the fabrication and foldability of complex ORI* objects. Fold-Printing allows near impossible-to-fold patterns to become foldable objects. The methods do not succeed in all circumstances, and that success is additionally dependent on the author’s experience of origami structures. The aesthetic qualities and material properties of the artistic results have distinct qualities that qualify them to meet the particular criteria required for ORI* objects. The thesis concludes with the proposing of future work: 1) in the direction of soft-robotic applications using both Fold-Mapping and Fold-Printing methods, and 2) the creation of enhanced aesthetic and technical ORI* objects across many disciplinary domains.
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Computational Origami invents a new kind of complexity: the highly irregular crease pattern, posing a significant challenge to foldability. We design a method for digital fabrication of multi-material composites to overcome issues of foldability and durability faced when producing functional prototypes with paper. Our fabrication method, called Fold Printing, uses off-the-shelf and customised 3D printing technology, heat pressing, and elastomers to control fold memory in Folded Polymer Textile Elastomer Composites (FPTEC). Our results show that Fold-Printing affords foldability of high-irregularity crease patterns, and can produce durable advanced origami prototypes.
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This paper covers the brief 4 year history of Oribotics as a tangible field of study; as a hybrid field of study, with art exhibits as the end goals. I will cover my definition of Oribotics, the origin and evolution of oribotics, design problems and solutions. While thinking generally about origami and technology I realised the two fields are very similar. Origami often borrows from nature, and often highly regarded origami works are the most 'natural. The same aspirations exist in robotic behaviour and movement. Robots are programmed machines, and origami is programmed paper, that is paper coded with creases.
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Origami – the Japanese term for “paper-folding” – in natural structures such as leaves of trees, fructifications and insect organs, has fascinated scientists and designers for over two decades. Technical origami, at the other hand, that focuses on the mechanical and functional properties of deployable lightweight structures, finds its way into the fields of biology, biomechanics and biomimetic engineering.
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One line of research and development in robotics receiving increasing attention in recent years is the development of biologically inspired walking robots. The purpose is to gain knowledge of biological beings and apply that knowledge to implement the same methods of locomotion (or at least use the biological inspiration) on the machines we build. It is believed that this way it is possible to develop machines with capabilities similar to those of biological beings in terms of locomotion skills and energy efficiency. One way to better understand the functioning of these systems, without the need to develop prototypes with long and costly development, is to use simulation models. Based on these ideas, this work concerns the biomechanical study of the spider crab, using the SimMechanics toolbox of Matlab/Simulink. This paper describes the anatomy and locomotion of the spider crab, its modeling and control and the locomotion simulation of a crab within the SimMechanics environment.
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At small scales, the fabrication of robots from off-the-shelf structural materials, sensors and actuators becomes increasingly difficult. New manufacturing methods such as Shape Deposition Manufacturing offer an alternative approach in which sensors and actuators are embedded directly into three-dimensional structures without fasteners or connec-tors. In addition, structures can be fabricated with spatially varying material properties such as specific stiffness and damping. These capabilities allow us to consider biomimetic designs that draw their inspiration from crustaceans and insects. Recent research on insect physiology has revealed the importance of passive compliance and damping in achieving robustness and simplifying control. We describe the design and fabrication of small robot limbs with locally varying stiffness and embedded sensors and actuators. We discuss the process planning issues associated with creating such structures and present results obtained via Shape Depo-sition Manufacturing.
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Leaves of hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and beech (Fagus sylvaticus) were modelled to a first approximation as plane surfaces, with straight parallel folds, using numerical methods. In both species the lateral veins, when the leaves are outstretched, are angled at 30 to 50 degrees from the centre vein. A higher angle allows the leaf to be folded more compactly within the bud, but it takes longer to expand. This may allow the plant to optimize the timing of leaf deployment with ecological and physiological conditions.
This intimate account of how ideas get turned into artwork—including dance performance, film, sound installation, sculpture, and painting—looks at how the material thinking that art embodies produces new understandings about individuals, their histories, and the cultures they inhabit. Discussing the philosophy of signs (images, text, and their interaction), the psychology of visual perception, and the overarching notion of mythopoeic place-making, this intellectually wide-ranging and anecdotally narrated primer provides a fresh perspective to the concept of inventing. All active practitioners in the fields of performance, media, film, museum, painting, sculpture, and cultural studies will benefit from this look at how artists participate in the conceptual invention of their world.<br /
A personal view is presented of developments in the non-linear mechanics of structural buckling over more or less the past four decades. The era has been one of unprecedented change and development in the world of science as a whole, and this is acknowledged by describing ways in which the field has interacted strongly with other areas of study, including mathematics, non-linear dynamics and chaos and structural geology. A framework is provided through two key conferences that have emerged as pivotal moments in time when ideas seemed to take shape in a collective sense rather than just with individuals. Throughout most of the paper, the buckling of the axially compressed cylindrical shell is used to illustrate key features, including the breaking of hidden symmetry, localization and snaking solutions leading to a minimum energy periodic state that accords with a revitalized Maxwell stability criterion. The paper closes with some thoughts to the future, including the modelling of layered structures in geology and potential uses of modern composites.