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Sometimes I wish that I could go back in time and be a kid once again. Life would be much easier without adult responsibilities and I wouldnt do anything else besides having fun. Growing up I would see my mother knitting small hats, purses and when winter had finally approached she would make me a pair of knitted gloves. My father on the other side would sit for hours painting depictions of the Last Supper or historical moments in history like the Mexican War of Indepence. It wasn’t hard for me to follow their footsteps and find ways to express myself creatively. My favorite childhood memories always trace back to those moments that I would create things with my hands because I had never felt any other happiness. The smell of vanilla mixed with almonds from decomposing paper and the smell of freshly bought clay is what takes me back to my childhood memories. On an ordinary day, my mother came in my room and gave me an origami book called Easy Origami Animals by John Montroll. The only reason that I explicitly know both the name of the title and the author is because I still carry it around with me till present day. But, soon after my room had turned into a zoo with tigers, elephants, giraffes and birds flying in the air. Snakes finding their way up my bed and with little bits of cut construction paper all over my room’s floor. If I could describe my childhood all in one moment, it would be that.
Origami consists of folding a square piece of paper into a 3-dimensional object without cutting or gluing the paper. Origami comes from the Japanese language, “Ori” meaning folding and “Kami” is the Japenese word for paper. However, many researchers are unsure of where it initially originated from because paper decomposes very rapidly making it difficult to trace. “The invention of paper by Cai Lun around 105 AD in China is well recognized by historians.” Without a doubt many evidence suggests that China was the first country to develop paper giving them the credit for creating Origami. Despite that, many countries today continue to share the origami culture. Throughout the years, Origami began to evolve and new rules have been implemented. New rules such as cutting are allowed, something that was not permitted back when Origami began to show up. New types of Origami has also emerged including Kirigami which is basically the cutting of the paper without using glue, one good example of this is making paper snowflakes. Another form of an Origami variation is fabric folding, some examples include folded up napkins in restaurants and folded up towels that are typically given in fancy hotels or cruise ships. Without a doubt, origami has also made itself in our everyday lives and not only is it fun, but has also improved our form of living.
Perhaps, you have seen the movie Bumblebee or the Transformers series. If not, robots in both of the movies fully assemble themselves. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are doing just that using Origami methods. At first, the robot is completely flat and in a matter of minutes it can assemble itself into a robot that can move without human intervention. According to a study by Science, “The flat panels are embedded with electronics and connected by hinges; they are also made of materials that contract and fold when heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius).” Using these robots can have real life implications including search and rescue robots that can fit through tiny holes and deal with emergencies. Origami is what makes these tiny robots even possible.
During a car accident, the passenger can be thrown to the windshield or dash of the car. Besides seatbelts, airbags are also an important necessity towards providing safety towards the rider. However, airbags need to be designed precisely and effectively because during an accident the airbag has to be released rapidly and also provide cushioning. According to Douglas Main, publisher of “From Robots To Retinas: 9 Amazing Origami Applications” says that, “Robert Lang helped a German company develop software to simulate the opening and folding-up of an air bag, and his algorithm has been used in the corporation’s computer models to improve the product.” Again, Origami plays a significant role in providing safety towards everyone in the car as airbags consist of multiple folds that emerge in a flash of a second. The practice of Origami goes back to one thousand years ago and you would think that something that has existed since that long has no more room for new creativity to emerge. That could’ve been the case but the ancient art could unlock further secrets of space. Many scientists have begun to implement the art into new and better satellites that one day will be sent to our atmosphere. One of these satellites is called the Starshade and will open itself into a flowered seemed satellite that will be used to take pictures of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system). ‘With most origami, the magic comes from the folding,’ said Robert Salazar, an intern who helped design the Starshade folding pattern. Origami has found itself into scientists’ hands and with the Starshade satellite we will have the opportunity to find habitable planets outside our solar system.
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