It looks like Brigham Young University, or BYU, is not done with exploring the wonder of origami. After developing an origami-inspired bulletproof shield for law enforcement, the university’s researchers makes an even mind-blowing origami-inspired development which they call “developable mechanisms.” With this new development, it allows complex surfaces on a device to morph and transform like it happened in the fictional Iron Man’s suit.

BYU Morphing And Transforming Devices

“Developable mechanisms” allow complex mechanisms to be built on the exterior of a structure (such as suit as in the case of Iron Man) without taking any actual space below the surface.

“This new class of origami-inspired mechanisms, called “developable mechanisms,” get their name from developable surfaces, or materials that can take on 3-D shapes from flat conformations without tearing or stretching, like a sheet of paper or metal. They reside in a curved surface (like, say, the arms of Iron Man’s suit) and can transform or morph when deployed to serve unique functions. When not in use, they can fold back into the surface of the structure seamlessly.”

BYU Morphing And Transforming Devices

Of course, there are other applications other than the fantasy tech. One of developable mechanisms use would be in medical where surgical instruments that cuts and at the same deploy lights or camera during a minimally-invasive surgery. It could even employed on drones where it could have concealed rotors when not needed pr adjustable wing spans to allow it to fit into tight spaces. Solar panels on satellite orbit around the Earth could also leverage on this new development too.

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The new class of mechanical structures evolved from Howell and colleague Spencer Magleby’s work on origami-based engineering, in collaboration with origami artist Robert Lang. Have a look the video and see how awesome this new development is.

All images courtesy of Brigham Young University (BYU).

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.