The geometry of leaf folding

May 24, 2007 on 6:42 pm | In Day to Day, References, Oribotics | No Comments

It’s amazing what you can find out there, here I am, an artist working with robotics and origami, working on a new oribotic design, thinking about leaves. I turn to research for inspiration, and I start to follow a trail from the 2nd Origami Art and Science conference proceedings. It’s Biruta Kresling. I get the strong feeling that she’s understood the lines of thought ahead of me and is seeking these ideas in nature for design inspiration.

Then googling Biruta Kresling’s work on analysing natural structures for inherant folding patterns and design I came across The geometry of unfolding tree leaves by H. Kobayashi and others. Biruta is one of those others.

The essay presents me with a picture, and I can immediately imagine a robotic leaf, and I say to myself - ‘That’s it!’

Computational Origami links

April 3, 2006 on 11:38 pm | In References | 1 Comment

From a recent post on the Origami list, I have gathered some links to related origami/computation projects that exist on the web, in no particular order.

Josh Nimoy’s Virtual Origami

John Szinger’s Foldinator Project

Jerome Gout’s Open Source Doodle

Jun Mitani’s ORIPA

Robert Lang’s Treemaker

Robert Lang’s Origami Simulator

Robert Lang’s Reference Finder

This post has been extended by another follow up post on the topic, these particular projects deal with origami simulation solutions such as curves, thickness of paper, layers, virtual object models for display and manipulation of a virtual origami model.

Sam Hasinoff implemented a method of simulating paper thickness:
Hasinoff, S. (2000) Exploring Computational Origami with iFold

S. Miyazaki et al. cope with layers by storing relationships between paper faces:
Miyazaki, S.Y., Yasuda, T., Yokoi, S. and Toriwaki, J. I. (1996) ‘An origami playing simulator in the virtual space’, Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation, 7 (1): 25-42 Jan-Mar 1996,URL

A more sophisticated simulation copes with “half-completed creases.” S. Miyazaki et al. implemented curved and curled paper (although this doesn’t seem to feature in the source code and executables that he released). Ron Burgoon, Zoe Wood, and Eitan Grinspun recently implemented a simulation with methods similar to that used for simulating cloth. They show curved folds and folds with dihedral angles other than 180 degrees:

Burgoon, R., Wood, Z. J. and Grinspun, E. (2006) ‘Discrete Shells Origami’ in Proceedings of CATA, Seattle, WA, March 2006,

Ida, T. (n.d.) Computational Origami Project URL

Zamiatina, L.I. (1994) ‘On Computer Simulation of Origami’, Mathematica in Education, Vol. 3 No. 3, Summer 1994 URL

Miyazaki, S.Y. (2004) ‘Origami Simulation’ URL

Studio GoGoGo (1999) * How To Make “VRML Origami” * URL

Shimanuki, H., Kato, J. and Watanabe, T. (2003) ‘Recognition of folding process from origami drill books’ in Document Analysis and Recognition, 2003. Proceedings. Seventh International Conference on , (3-6 Aug. 2003) vol.1 p. 550 - 554

These urls were originally posted to the o-list, thanks to Hank Simon, and Tung Ken Lam.

Origami May Be an Art, but Nature Got There First

June 18, 2005 on 10:51 am | In References | No Comments

See this article on the relationship between the famous Miura-ori and the blooming of a leaf…

ATOMU = astro boy

June 17, 2005 on 11:29 am | In References | No Comments

While looking in the famous book shop district of Kanda - close to Jimbocho station in Tokyo I found an 8 story building full of second hand books. On the 4th floor there was a shop specialising in Manga. The first thing I saw was a full set of Hayao Miyazake’s NAUSICA - (for only 2800 yen!) a story of post apocalyptic earth with a heroine named after the Nausica from the Odyssey of Homer. A fascinating read, far more in depth than the animated version, which covers about a quarter of the story conveyed in the books. I was unable to do anything but read for the whole day. It was quite a luxury but very necessary #^_^#.

In the same bookstore I discovered a whole section on Astro Boy (ATOMU) as he is known in Japan. I bought the first book for 200 yen. This has a high degree of significance to my stay here in Tokyo. The area we are staying in is called TAKADANOBABA, and is the birth place of Astro Boy - in the comic he was made in a laboratory here.

The most poignant thing I read in the book was the first line - Naze ningen ha roboto wo tsukuru no ka - literally - why did humans robots make ? or in better english - why did humans make robots? The author then goes onto ask and why did humans make robots to work for them? He then writes ‘I dont know…’

The first part of the astro boy story outlines a possible reason. It shows the tragic and immediate death of a young boy who looks like astro boy. In the previous page he is driving a car and runs headlong into an oncoming truck. The pages I have photographed here show the father devistated, and his first instinct is to create a new son - as a robot.

So the stories motivation for creating a robot is thru one of loss. That of the loss of a son. Though this does not explain the reason for the creation of robots in general, but rather the creation of a particular robot to replace a loved son.

In considering this story, and in considering my own motivation to create a robotic flower - in the case of oribotics - I am beginning to think of my flowers as a replacement for the loss of nature in the urban environment, and in wider consideration, the loss of nature as an environment which we inhabit as a global society.

Integrated Instruments

May 17, 2005 on 8:00 am | In References | No Comments

The idea is this: the miniature musical instruments being created by Rosemary Joy are integrated into the design of the oribots. They are low impact percussive instruments, like small reeds, bells, or tuned metal forks, that are played by the gearing mechanism in the bot.

By the term low impact, I mean they require little friction to operate. Though with clever gearing they can be made to work under load.

This increases the sophistication of the design, but it does allow Rosemary to focus on a particular type of musical instrument. She could also consider wind instruments using a tiny pneumatic system - though nice as an idea, should be carefully considered regarding design to make them small and lightweight.

About Oribotics [Expanded]

May 16, 2005 on 6:49 pm | In References | 1 Comment

This blog will cover the development of Oribotics [expanded] during Matt Gardiner’s artistic residency in Tokyo, Japan. The intention of the blog is to communicate ideas, and developments as they happen, so that all artists collaborating on the project have up to date information and can follow the work in progress.

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