Electro Luminescent

July 31, 2005 on 11:50 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

I visited the Institute for Future Design, and met with Azby Brown, a lecturer at Kanazawa University. He runs a studio in Harajuku which is sponsored by the university. While there he suggested I look at EL as a means for replacing the projected light in oribotics, so the flowers are self luminescent.

So we called a local Japanese company, and arranged a visit to the office. When I arrived it was a home office. I saw some interesting sheets of EL, which work best in greenish colour, white is apparently very difficult and so very expensive. Tomoyo san, who I met, was very kind and explained the techniques to me. Explaining how I would have to use the material to get my desired effect. I have to say I wasnt strongly convinced of the applicability of EL material to my vision. To light a full oribot, you need a bulky, expensive power supply. It seemed better applied to signage.

It was good to remove that idea from the list, and it confirmed my love for the projected light, and the way I imagine it creating the interaction.


July 26, 2005 on 8:55 pm | In Robo Tech | 3 Comments

I’ve been searching for a technique to bond fabric and plastics. Why? The most recent oribot prototypes have been made with plastic and fabric laminates. Basically the crease pattern is cut out of thin plastic with a gap at the creases to allow for folding, and then sandwiched between two layers of fabric. The result is a highly flexible and durable oribot, unlike the original paper bots which tended to ‘wilt’ in time (a fact which I liked as it added to the fragility of the work - but technically I was not happy, as I think a bot should be strong enough to perform its actions).

These guys look like they have what I’m after, according to them it remains extremely pliable and strong even as the materials bend and deform - we’ll I can certainly put that to the test.


Origami Karakuri

July 19, 2005 on 9:32 am | In Events | No Comments

Mr Maekawa organised a meeting with Mr Ito from Denso company in Nagoya - the same area as the Aichi expo. This was a chance to see perhaps the first known origami automata - perhaps the first oribot (to my knowledge).

This photo is from
mY’s blog

Mr Ito’s Origami Karakuri is a fantastic temple on wheels, like a Gion Matsuri Yamaboko, with animated dolls playing instruments, and 2 folding paper cranes (the really beautiful part). As the single motor turns, a set of large spin wheels control the delicate movements of the flat sheet of fabric which has rigid areas of thin hinged metal plates which match the crease pattern of a papercrane. The flat sheets magically slowly and magically form the shape of the papercrane.

Origami Papercup Engineering Company

July 12, 2005 on 10:19 am | In Events | No Comments

Over the last weekend, Jun Maekawa and his wife invited My Trinh and myself to his mountain cottage for a few days of relaxation and sightseeing. On the return journey to Tokyo, we detoured to a company which specialises in paper engineering. They engineer and produce machine tools for folding and forming paper. It was quite amazing to see the extent of the work they are able to produce. Of particular interest to me was the origami paper cup, as presented in Tom Hull’s book Origami [3], The 3rd meeting of Origami, Science and Education (Art was featured in the first 2 and dropped out of the title for some reason - I’m going to ask Robert Lang if he’ll bring it back in for the next one).

Folding Robot project

July 12, 2005 on 10:11 am | In Robo Tech | No Comments

While googling around on the subject of origami hinges, I came across this project that developed (well almost) a walking origami robot. The concept seems sound enough, but the interesting thing is their approach in using servo motors as actuators for folding. I have had similar ideas, to use tiny tiny mobile phone motors, which I soon discovered come in a minimum order of 2000 units - a few to many - and they supply to large companies. I think a smaller cylindrical motor would actually work very well. I’m keeping this for a later evolution. I’ve decided I really like the simplicity of the current system using wires to create tension. And at the moment, the thought of mounting tiny motors on each joint is a bit too daunting - not to mention the extended prototyping period required…

Anyway after that rant, here is the project.


5bot sketch

July 6, 2005 on 10:13 pm | In Oribotics | No Comments

The 5 bot, so called because it has 5 petals, is shown here in a ‘rough’ 3D sketch. I have just started experimenting with using 3D software (this is my first 3D model) to visualise the new forms of the bots. The intention here is to design pieces which can be easily laser cut from clear acrylic, and joined by carefully placed bolts or glues. This form does not include the folded flower.

Being the first sketch, I have lots more refinements and designs features to add. As you can see, the model is very similar in design to the original bots. However, it is possible to scale this model in design, whereas LEGO (god bless it) can not be simply enlarged and recut.

What has disappeared from the design is the geared section of the bot, I hope to use higher torque DC motors, which would eliminate the need for the gearing (testing with suitable candidate motors still needs to be done with this).

Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^