The word, origami, comes from the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The unique characteristic of origami that realizes three-dimensional structures from two-dimensional materials have long attracted attention from various fields such as design, education and mathematics. Many of today’s engineers are using this oriental art to solve problems. It can be used as an inspiration to some architectural designs, and can also be used as fabrication method of robot design or MEMS process.
By using this origami structure, the deformable wheel can be built without using many mechanical parts; the wheel is built with a single piece of sheet, with specific folds. Moreover, because of the characteristic that the structure constrains its own movement, it is possible to control the shape of the wheel using only a few actuators. When the robot run into the small slit smaller than the wheel diameter, the robot can deform the wheel and it is possible to get through the terrain. The proposed design for the deformable wheel shows the possibility of using origami structure as a functional structure with its own mechanism.
"Almost like a table of living clay, the inFORM is a surface that three-dimensionally changes shape, allowing users to not only interact with digital content in meatspace, but even hold hands with a person hundreds of miles away. And that’s only the beginning."
A Russian tank manufacturer has unveiled a new tram design that it plans to start mass-producing in 2015. These beautiful pieces of engineering will hold 190 to 270 passengers and will be able to traverse on even the older, worn out Russian tram tracks.