Wired Science's Dave Mosher investigates elastomeric soft robots -- air-powered origami creepers that can go places that challenge their rigid metallic kin.
Getting the soft robots to perform a particular action is a feat of origami: Folded in just the right way and glued in the right spots, for example, the researchers showed how a crinkled clump of silicone-soaked paper lifted a 2-pound weight. The force of the air required to drive it was roughly twice that of a human exhalation.
The team has also cylinders that blow into spheres, tubes that act like springs and compact stacks that turn into rigid rings or pipes.
Avi Solomon notes the similarity between these eerie things and the robots in Ted Chiang's brilliant science fiction story Exhalation.
Origami Robots Run Only on Air
Avi sez, "Shu Sugamata has been making origami spaceships since 1977 and has amassed quite a body of gorgeous work."
Marshall Alexander made these free downloadable papercraft Etch-a-Sketch and Viewmaster models. He notes, "Instead of creating exact paper replica's I chose to do very simple interpretations that fit on a single page and are very easy to construct."
Bright Red 1 and 2
In this video announcing They Might Be Giants' next tour, the lads construct a gigantic pink monster truck hearse. And sing a fine song!
They Might Be Giants are going on tour across the United States starting January 27th in Santa Cruz. Jonathan Coulton opens. Full ticket info below! The song is When Will You Die? from TMBGs album Join Us, and this video was created by The Offices of Paul Sahre.
Here's instructions for making your own pink monster-truck papercraft hearse.
When Will You Die? - They Might Be Giants (US tour announcement video)
Horst Kiechle made this astounding card-stock human torso, stuffed with anatomically correct paper organs. Its for the Science Lab of the International School Nadi, Fiji Islands. Man, what I'd give for a set of plans for this!
This tiny, adorable papercraft Paris playset is a free download. Good fun for a weekend's pretend voyage -- spice up your romantic life by bringing your loved one a Continental breakfast in bed with a miniature Paris on the tray, and deliver it wearing a beret and nothing else. Or use 'em to decorate the kids' French toast.*
It's a positive externality of Paper City Paris, an ambitious larger project from Made By Joel.
Travel Size Paper City Paris! | Made by Joel
(via Super Punch)
* Whatever floats your boat. To paraphrase Frank Zappa, "Hey, it's the 21st century, anything you can do to have a good time let's get on with, as long as it doesn't cause a murder."
Last weekend at New York Comic-Con, I had the pleasure of meeting Glen from Kinekt, who made the geared fidget rings we featured back in 2010 (one of my favorite gadgets of all time!). Glen's been doing lots of clever stuff lately, including a series of laser-cut papercraft gizmos you can buy from his Etsy store, a papercraft PC with working mechanisms, and the crazy tank-tread coffee table shown below.
When an animal as big as a whale dies, its body becomes a whole new ecosystem. One whale carcass can support other forms of life for 50-to-75 years—basically as long as the whale itself lived.
This gorgeous video (I am not kidding. You will not need a unicorn chaser.) illustrates how that cycle works, using paper cutouts and simple puppetry. It's mesmerizing and enlightening.
The video was made for a Radiolab episode about whale falls, and was put together by Sharon Shattuck and Flora Lichtman. Amazing work!
Thanks to Ferris Jabr
Nicholas Rougeux made this fabulous Menger sponge fractal out of mini Post-its, which he swears by for erecting fractals:
Each Post-It was torn into 16 equal squares, then folded into units and assembled into the sponge.
Post-its offer surprisingly structural durability and are easy to get in large quantities making them ideal for assembling structures like these.
Instructables user Blightdesign has developed a method for rubberizing paper origami creations by dipping them in Plastidip, using them for Christmas tree ornaments. This HOWTO explains how to rubberize your own paper toys.
Artist Jonathan Brand is working his way through a papercraft 1:1 model of a 1969 Mustang coupe, beginning with the engine, and (eventually), making his way through the rest of it. It's fabulous all in one piece, as shown here, but even more impressive considered as a series of components, each tiny piece carefully handmade and assembled in gleeful, obsessive detail.
This is a project that I'm currently working on. When finished every part of the 1969 Mustang coupe that i restored and sold to purchase a diamond engagement ring will be recreated out of paper in 1:1 scale.
motor (paper car), 2011
This is a continuation of the diamond series and an earlier show titled "one for another." It is made entirely of archival inkjet prints on paper. The process began with creating a 3D computer replica which is then unfolded flat and printed on an inkjet printer. Each piece is then cut out and glued together to form a 3D replica of the original.
(via Oh Gizmo
TERADA MOKEI, a Japanese company, makes dense sheets of punch-out people, animals and scenery intended for use in architectural models. The sets include sports matches, mass transit, street scenes, construction sites, and an orchestra. Sounds like a fun thing to have around on general principle, for models, art projects, and entertainment value.
Just look at it.
is an independent filmmaker based in Austin, TX, who is best known for intricate, cut-paper animated short films. He created two such shorts as channel IDs for the Boing Boing in-flight entertainment TV channel on Virgin America Airlines
, which you can watch while flying in their planes starting in about a week (channel 10!). I'm a big fan of Eric's work, and am always amazed at how obsessively, intricately genius his craft is.
Eric has a Kickstarter up to raise funds to do his first feature-length animated film
in this cut paper style, "Path of Blood
." Knowing how much time and crazy obsessive effort goes into his creative process, I can only say: I fully support this Kickstarter. And I'm not alone: it is endorsed by Ninja
The earlier short film version
of "Path of Blood" embedded above was mostly silent, but Eric explains the feature film will involve a "large cast of interesting individuals" and "plenty of engaging and bloody action."
The film will also push my cut paper animation to new heights. The level of detail the finished film will showcase is going to be staggering. Everything you've seen of my cut paper work so far has only been a precursor to what I feel is possible within the medium and I am very excited to put my skills to the test.
Pitch in here
, even if it's only $5! If you have any doubt of this guy's awesomeness, watch his wonderful vintage-video-game-themed "Mario on Paper
" short below, which we've also featured on the Boing Boing Video Virgin America in-flight channel. What's not to love? (via Joe Sabia)