Origami is best known as the art of folding a flat piece of paper into a beautiful 3D shape by following a sequence of folding steps. But did you know the technique is also being used in robotics?
Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the use of origami principles by researchers in the development of new types of so-called “meta”materials and soft robots.
The ideal metamaterial changes autonomously, depending on the desired functionality. Bas Overvelde and his Soft Robotic Matter Group at AMOLF, developed a toolkit to design such metamaterials that can take different forms in a way that reminds us of origami. This line of research uniquely combines concepts from soft robotics, architected materials and design.
Bas Overvelde is the Director of the Soft Robotic Matter group at AMOLF, an academic institute for fundamental physics with high societal relevance in Amsterdam. He works at the crossroads of metamaterial design and the field of soft robotics. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering cum laude at the Delft University of Technology and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University, the United States. Pioneering his field of research, Overvelde works collaboratively with art institutions, inventors, designers and architects. Studio Overvelde is a design-laboratory that focuses on material architecture; it develops functional and aesthetic solutions to design questions by creating and developing new materials.