Tanteidan convention

August 21, 2005 on 11:23 am | In Events | No Comments

We just finished the Tanteidan convention! My talk on Friday went down really well, my Japanese was clear and understood. I had many people approach me and comment on the talk and the project. They really loved the video of the construction of Origami house, and the next day we sold all of the Folding Australia books and tshirts. I’m really happy about that. It’s a nice boost for the 2007 Folding Australia convention, financially and socially. We made closer friends, as the Japanese slowly open up, and my language skills improve the gap between us gets smaller, and our communication starts to flow.

We move out of the apartment tomorrow morning, and we’re off on a tour via the Aichi Expo. The 3 Japanese guests had such a good time at our last convention so they wanted to thank us by inviting one of us on the tour. I felt a little uncomfortable, but Mr Yamaguchi insisted that it was appropriate, and what he says goes. Who am I to argue, in Japan the heirachy is very strong, and you dont argue with the boss, ever.

mY will have some photos on her blog soon…

Almost over…

August 14, 2005 on 8:17 pm | In Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Well its Monday morning of the last week here in Tokyo. The time has really flown by. It seems so fast, and it seems like only yesterday I was sitting this same seat thinking about how to recreate the oribotics mechanism. Now I’m packing everything up to send back in the post (we have very limited baggage allowances with British Airways!).

This week the Tanteidan Origami Convention starts. I have been asked to deliver a talk about our Origami House project. The catch is that they asked me to deliver it in Japanese!? I’ve got to say I’m a bit nervous about that, but with the stern advice from Mr Yamaguchi, I’ve written out my entire speech, translated it, and now I’m sending it to Koshiro Hatori to correct. I’ve got a good collection of timelapse videos, photographs to go with the talk so I’m thinking it should be quite entertaining. I’ve given talks and speeches before, but usually in my native language. It’s a great chance for me.

After the convention, there is a 3 day tour including to Aichi Banpaku (Expo). This is usually a great time to relax and make better friends with the other international folders.

From there we still have 5 days or so in Japan, we are going to spend them at Kujukurihama beach in Chiba, staying with two Japanese artists, Akio Hizume, and Tomoko Ninomiya. It’s a chance to wind down after 11-12 weeks in the most populated area on the planet. I’m looking forward to that time, while Tokyo is great, I do find it a little bit tiring after a while, and we need nature after so much metal and concrete. Kind of ironic for an artist interested in making robotic flowers…

Then I’m off to Austria to see Ars Electronica, and I’m really excited about seeing Theo Jansen’s work.

Ball Magnet part sponsorship deal with Magna Tokyo

August 9, 2005 on 12:50 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

As part of the new bot design, I was looking for a free rotating mechanism, so that the bots can have a nice range of positionable movement between the base of the flower and the top of the stem. I found something pretty cool here in Tokyo, and I visited the company and got some samples. After some discussion with the sales department, they have kindly offered a part sponsorship deal on an order of 40 units.

Check out the product, it’s a ball magnet that can hold up to 5kg. The bots won’t weigh over 2kg. So it should work really well.


Thanks Magna

New 5bot crease pattern

August 7, 2005 on 11:23 pm | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Well, the past 2 weeks have been quite productive (so I have been busy working not blogging!). This time has produced some breakthroughs, which are quite significant for this residency. The first is a new crease pattern for the 5bot (5 bot is so called because its extremelly short and easy to type and it also describes the number of petals, and the degree of rotational symmetry).

The development of the new crease pattern evolved from experiment 1 to 4:

5bot Crease Pattern Development

5bot Crease Pattern5bot Crease Pattern

With the final choice being #4 due to its aesthetic appeal, and foldability; it looks good and works well.

The key difference is that the closed form has a raised pentagonal pyramid in the centre. This pyramid actually reduced the angle that the petals fold, therefore using less force. The model is not rigid, there is curvature in the model, which occurs mostly in the outer petals. Not being rigid does require increased force at the turning point (the point which creates the most tension in the model).

The advantage of the raised pyramid is 2 fold (^_^).

The second breakthrough came after an extensive study of the new crease pattern. Late at night I had a creative drive, I couldnt sleep from too many ideas and thoughts. And while in this state I saw a vision of the working mechanism. I immediately woke up and sketched down the rough ideas. The day after I went to Tokyu hands and bought all the materials I needed and on return built a protoype crease pattern and mechanism to test the idea. While I have yet to build a fully working model - I am in the middle of working on a 3D model which can be built on return to Australia.


If you can excuse the quality of the video, you can get an idea of the quality and simplicity of the movement created by this mechanism. It’s beautiful, and it also means the design of the flower like, as the extended arms which ‘pulled on the petals are no longer required, instead, a mechanism with strings and pulleys actuate the levers (see the 3D image below) and are repositioned by tensioned springs. It could also be done with motors, but the simplicity of a single motor contracting 5 strings (or wires) is far easier to control. Also I intuit that the springs will create a nice tension for the strings to pull against, meaning the motion will be extremely smooth. I’m looking forward to coming back home and making these new ones.

Here is an image of the 3D model at the moment

Here is a QUICKTIME VR model [925K]

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