Did you think origami where only useful for paper decorations? Then guess again! Dae-Young Lee, Ji-Suk Kim, Jae-Jun Park, Sa-Reum Kim and Kyu-Jin Cho from Seoul National University has realized the power of origami and created incredible morphable robot wheels explained in this video from IEEE Spectrum. When the robot needs to get over obstacles, the wheel can be expanded, and when it needs to get into tight spaces, the wheels can shrink to fit. In this case, special pattern embedded fabric is used, but we can’t see any reason these wheels can’t be made from thick paper. It would be more fragile of course, but still really cool.
In the video below from our favorite origami channel happypuppytruffles, you can learn how to do the “Magic Ball” origami pattern that these wheels are based on. Happy folding!