Manila, Philippines – Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper- folding, which started in the 17th century. Today, origami has invaded the world. Origami is not only an artistic and fun hobby but it is even recommended to those who have had hand surgeries, or for relieving stress. Origami helps these patients regain control of the hand muscles, which is very important in the art of paper-folding. Doctors also found that origami is a good therapy for those with anxiety problems.
A number of technological advances have come from insights obtained through paper- folding. For example, techniques have been developed for the deployment of car airbags and stent implants from a folded position. The problem of rigid origami (“if we replace the paper with sheet metal and had hinges in place of the crease lines, could we still fold the model?”) has great practical importance. For example, the “Miura map fold” is a rigid fold that has been used to deploy large solar panel arrays for space satellites.
Futurity org. reported a story on March 12, 2012 about an origami sensor which may detect diseases for less than 10 cents a pop. Graduate student Hong Liu in University of Texas at Austin was inspired to develop the sensor after recalling the origami lessons he got as a schoolboy growing up in China. Liu had fabricated the sensor on one simple sheet folding it over into multiple layers, which takes less than a minute and require no tools or special alignment techniques but just fingers.
One-dimensional paper sensors, such as those used in pregnancy tests, are already common but have limitations. The folded 3-D sensors can test for more substances in a smaller surface area and provide results for more complex tests.
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