Origami drone can protect itself from collision damage

Origami drone can protect itself from collision damage
Highlights

Scientists have developed a resilient drone inspired by the traditional Japanese paper folding art of origami that can change its shape to minimise damage when it runs into something

Geneva : Scientists have developed a resilient drone - inspired by the traditional Japanese paper folding art of origami - that can change its shape to minimise damage when it runs into something.

In recent years, robotics experts have taken a page from origami and come up with light, flexible, and highly innovative robots and drones. Two types of origami-inspired structures have emerged: rigid structures that have a certain weight-bearing capacity, but which break if that capacity is exceeded, and flexible, resilient structures that cannot carry much of a load.

Researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, applying what they observed about insect wings, have developed a hybrid origami drone that can be stiff or flexible depending on the circumstances. When airborne, the structure is stiff enough to carry its own weight and withstand the thrust of the propellers. But if the drone runs into something, it becomes flexible in order to absorb the shock and therefore minimize any damage.

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