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Researchers Create Origami Wheels That Can Change Size

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the power-of-the-fold dept.

Robotics 52

rtoz writes Researchers from Seoul National University have designed a robotic wheel based on the origami "magic ball pattern," which is a traditional technique used to create folded paper spheres. This robotic wheel can change its radius to create larger wheels to climb over things, and shrink back to a smaller size to squeeze under obstacles. The diameter of the wheels changes automatically to enable the robot to either be strong or speedy. The scientists think their innovation could one day be used for interplanetary rovers as the wheel can be folded up and "inflate" itself.

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Snow Crash! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47498527)

Oh how I want one of those skateboards...

Re:Snow Crash! (2)

SB2020 (1814172) | about 3 months ago | (#47498965)

Why is this modded -1? The wheels of the skateboards in Snow Crash are the first thing that came to mind when I saw this.

Re:Snow Crash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499341)

Why is this modded -1? The wheels of the skateboards in Snow Crash are the first thing that came to mind when I saw this.

Same here.

Re:Snow Crash! (3, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47499535)

Perhaps a link [wikipedia.org] would have helped?

Re:Snow Crash! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47499417)

Smartwheels are made of telescoping scopes which depend on future-tech materials science, and this will require different future-tech materials science to be practical, so clearly it's totally different.

Seriously though, it is totally different. Smartwheels can track over broken surfaces with full traction, these cannot.

Re:Snow Crash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499463)

"telescoping scopes"? It's scopes all the way down?

Re:Snow Crash! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47499585)

"telescoping scopes"? It's scopes all the way down?

I suppose you could use spokes.

Re:Snow Crash! (1)

unrtst (777550) | about 3 months ago | (#47501207)

"telescoping scopes"? It's scopes all the way down?

I suppose you could use spokes.

Not sure telespoking scopes would do any better.

Re:Snow Crash! (1)

Dins (2538550) | about 3 months ago | (#47501709)

I'll have you know, drinkypoo, that looking up your signature lead me to read Snow Crash to begin with. Great book!

Re:Snow Crash! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47501933)

I'll have you know, drinkypoo, that looking up your signature lead me to read Snow Crash to begin with. Great book!

Well, at least there's that to make all this time spent Slashdotting worthwhile. If I am an anything fanboy, I am one for Neal Stephenson.

Fake (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47498565)

That can't be a researcher speaking in the video. He sounds like he has a mental illness.

Re:Fake (2)

228e2 (934443) | about 3 months ago | (#47498591)

I didnt have a problem understanding him. You're just confusing someone who sounds different than you as someone with a mental illness.

Um, here's a simpler way (4, Informative)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 3 months ago | (#47498571)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

But I guess that doesn't pump the money through the university system, nor feed the "interplanetary rover!" scenarios, nor create new IP...

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (3, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 3 months ago | (#47498625)

This is a different scenario and thus a different solution.

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 3 months ago | (#47499159)

What's different about climbing over obstacles?

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (2)

Sique (173459) | about 3 months ago | (#47499271)

The demonstration video of the origami wheel was not about climbing obstacles, it was using the foldable wheel as some gear replacement with continous transmission ratio.

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (2)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 3 months ago | (#47499295)

"his robotic wheel can change its radius to create larger wheels to climb over things"

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (2)

stephenmac7 (2700151) | about 3 months ago | (#47499663)

Yes, but it can also get smaller, to be able to squeeze through small spaces. The point is not being able to climb over things, but being able to adapt to the current situation. Depending on the size of the thing it need to climb over and how fine it's movement needs to be, it can adjust the wheel size.

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499195)

But I guess that doesn't pump the money through the university system, nor feed the "interplanetary rover!" scenarios, nor create new IP...

Nor did it work very well. My nephew had one many years ago. they were pretty crap. It's affinity with getting stuck was quite impressive.

But hey.. Nice smooth hard plastic tyres are so much better than soft grippy rubber pads.

Pillock.

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 3 months ago | (#47499243)

...I don't think the "smooth plastic tyres" (lol) were the point here, Anorak-Prime.

So things never improve?

Got it.

Bell end.

(yay! I can use hilarious foreign phrases too!)

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (2)

butalearner (1235200) | about 3 months ago | (#47499661)

Nor did it work very well. My nephew had one many years ago. they were pretty crap. It's affinity with getting stuck was quite impressive.

I also had one as a kid, and I agree: it was next to impossible to get the things to go straight with those claws sticking out. However, I also had an RC truck in which the wheels were telescoping cylinders with relatively thick rubber-ish strips attached at both ends. Fully extended the strips were flat, but you could flip a switch (or something) and it would retract, making the strips bow outward, significantly increasing (maybe doubling) the effective diameter. Parentheticals because it was a long time ago.

So I agree with OP that we could already do something like this, but when we're talking about space exploration, it's always worth looking at alternatives that may have different power requirements, mechanical complexity, etc. than the current options.

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (1)

unrtst (777550) | about 3 months ago | (#47501263)

However, I also had an RC truck in which the wheels were telescoping cylinders with relatively thick rubber-ish strips attached at both ends.

Perhaps one of these? https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47500087)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

But I guess that doesn't pump the money through the university system, nor feed the "interplanetary rover!" scenarios, nor create new IP...

I still have that thing and my kid plays with it. LOL

Re:Um, here's a simpler way (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 3 months ago | (#47500185)

But more importantly it doesn't have reaction traction.

http://youtu.be/5ooEz9QtErM [youtu.be]

The main advantage of origami (5, Funny)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 3 months ago | (#47498649)

The main advantage of the origami wheel is five-fold.

Re:The main advantage of origami (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47498841)

I'm not convinced it's an advantage; most origami designs fold under pressure.

Re:The main advantage of origami (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47499521)

Yeah but if Apple ever needs to add wheels to one of their product, it's a perfect match since they're already paper-thin.

Re:The main advantage of origami (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 3 months ago | (#47501341)

I would have thought that the main advantage would be either mountain or valley fold.

Re:The main advantage of origami (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47501503)

I noticed the paddle wheels expand and contract ALSO with the cable, so in case you have a dust caked origami structure, you can jettison that and JUST use the paddle wheels -- saving the weight of an origami structure.

In other words; In future applications of the Origami Wheel, you can dispose of the Origami Part pre-flight and reduce weight by 80%, creating a Paddle Wheel - Origami Wheel, Origami Wheel.

Re:The main advantage of origami (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47503221)

Sounds good, except that now you need to add some structure to replace what the origami portion handled (axial stability, and rigidity at the very least). And it has to force the spokes to maintain equal extension at all times. If one spoke's mechanism fails, then you can't retract the other spokes past that point without *drastically* impacting the ability to maneuver/steer. Hydraulics would almost certainly be heavier (and likely more prone to failure), as would solenoids.

Reminds me of something (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47498693)

This reminds me of a faggot's anus, which can expand in size to accommodate an erect penis, and then shrink to prevent the shit-cum mixture from spilling out.

Re:Reminds me of something (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499251)

I hope nothing ever reminds me of a faggot's anus.

differential (5, Interesting)

C3lt (3644813) | about 3 months ago | (#47498917)

Presumably wheels that change in size can also be used instead of a differential?

Re:differential (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#47499005)

Yep, one of their cited benefits is continuously variable torque without the weight of a transmission.

Re:differential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499263)

Yeah, just the weight and complexity of every wheel needing to change size, along with the continuously variable center of gravity.

If they ever find water on Mars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47498945)

Those paper wheels will undoubtedly get ruined.

Re:If they ever find water on Mars... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47499507)

They did find water on Mars [2dayblog.com] .

If they ever find water on Mars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47503251)

You didn't read the part of the article that discussed the construction materials, did you?

No sarcasm. (5, Funny)

Otto Waltari (3756215) | about 3 months ago | (#47499003)

Good job reinventing the wheel — and this time I really mean it.

Reinventing the wheel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499319)

Is there a need?

RC Car from 15 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499351)

I had an RC car like this from TYCO some 15 years ago... not the same mode of change but he wheels i believe slid along an elongated axle and it had roughly the same change in radius as this gizmo. wish i could find a link

power tires! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499373)

there was a toy truck in the 80s that could do this. didn't have one, but recall the commercials...

Tyco did it 7 years ago... Shell Shocker RC Toy (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499479)

Tyco Shell Shocker RC Toy (2007)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrLmKHjlTz0
Nothing new to see here...

Re:Tyco did it 7 years ago... Shell Shocker RC Toy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499595)

or galoob's "flex" from the late 80s... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02ABnNdbEvg [youtube.com]

Re:Tyco did it 7 years ago... Shell Shocker RC Toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47501297)

or galoob's "flex" from the late 80s... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02ABnNdbEvg [youtube.com]

That is remarkably similar to the origami design, but without the origami.

Dust, dust everywhere! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47499505)

He should have cleaned the floor before recording that fake rescue video.

Clever, but overly complex (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 months ago | (#47499511)

First, the main factor in a wheel, above all, is durability. A wheel that fails cannot perform its basic function. I'm not convinced that this wheel structure - while certainly clever -

After all, couldn't you get the EXACT same effect with an even greater range of variation (as well as an inherently simpler, more fault-tolerant and easily repairable design, as well as a principle that scales up or down in sturdiness simply and intuitively?) from an umbrella mechanism?

Re: Clever, but overly complex (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47500867)

Build one and let's find out.

sex wit4 a taco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47499563)

CREEPY! (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47500095)

Did anyone else get totally creeped out by that ending?

Don't you just need the metal wires part? (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 3 months ago | (#47515975)

Couldn't you do the same thing using only the metal wires that the wheel actually rolls on? The origami part is unnecessary. You simply have the metal wires folded along the axle with a cable that pulls them in the same way this one does. The wires would then extend away from the axle and make a larger wheel diameter without the need for the paper origami part at all. As it is, the paper part does not seem to serve any function. It does not roll along the ground, nor does it extend the wires, the cable does that.
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