Origami Robot Workshop

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Origami robots are made up of paper instead of metal mechanical components. One origami robot should be made with only one piece of paper and driven by one motor. In the production process, we only need to use basic model tools, 2D or 3D printers, and Arduino premier suite. Features like scalability, lightweight and highly personalization make it a new design protocol.

In the making process, students need to learn design methods, mechanical principles, programming and paper folding skills which can comprehensively promote their design thinking and expression capabilities ranging from design to fabrication by turning abstraction into reality.

In the first workshop, we explored possible forms of origami robots from different perspectives based on bionics. Students need to observe “animal” or “biological” world, analyze their movement modes, and simulate their movement modes with the origami movements. The final prototype is like a natural creature with different morphological structures and real-time interactions. In addition to the traditional engineering approach, we will also envision new design opportunities in product design, architectural design and urban planning.

The starting points of the workshop are as follows: Starting from bionics, exploring nature to get innovative robot ideas: more agile, smaller and safer than traditional industrial robots. Starting from basic kinematics, including the mechanical principles and the outline of folding origami structures. Starting from manufacturing methods, exploring the uses of composite materials, laminated assembly techniques and self-folding methods. Starting from mechanical controls, considering how to drive actions and the behaviors required by the programming robots, including servo systems, linear actuators, and use the Arduino suite for sensing and control.

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