Final project prep: I/O origami paper

My new final project is to make two origami papers that are wirelessly linked to each other. The input paper is outfitted with an array of fold sensors so that the paper will know how it is being folded. The output paper will have a matrix of embedded SMA actuators that will be able to fold the paper. As one paper folds, it sends its geometry (creases) to the other, which will self-fold to match. The goal is to make the sensor and actuator array dense enough to allow a variety of interesting models to be folded.


Both papers will be based on my work during the input and output devices weel. The input-paper will have crease-sensors made using resistive yarn (see week 8). These sensors suffer from a lot of noise so I will be working to improve their accuracy. The output paper will be actuated with flexinol in (hopefully) a zig-zag configuration, which will nicely complement the zig-zag geometry of the stretch sensors. For now, I plan to have most of the circuitry (radio, battery, and microcontroller circuit) hanging off one corner of each paper.

The arrangment of sensor and actuator matrix (or crease pattern) is still to be designed. It must be able to fold into many different configurations, keep into account the strength of the flexinol wire and make room for the circuitry. Right now I'm estimating about a 5x5 matrix.

For wireless communication, I plan to use a simple xbee radio.


  • 2 xbee radios
  • 2 atmega168 micrcontroller circuits
  • 2 3.7V li-ion rechargeable batteries
  • 1 5ft pack of 0.01" Flexinol wire
  • 1 spool resistive thread
  • paper
  • copper foil

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