CLOSE
Original image
Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

Scientists Create Origami That Can Fold Itself Using Light

Original image
Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

Scientists at Georgia Tech have figured out how to create origami from light, no hands required. All the technique uses is a PowerPoint slide, a projector, and some resin. Georgia Tech mechanical engineer Jerry Qi and his colleagues exposed photo-absorbent resin to light patterns to get the material to bend into specific shapes, as they write in a paper in Science Advances.

The researchers put the designs they wanted to fold into a PowerPoint slide and projected that in grayscale onto resin in a Petri dish using a commercial projector, producing resin that folded itself into flowers, cranes, and a Miura fold.

a petri dish with orange resin in the shape of a flower sits on a desk next to a computer showing the same design on a grayscale slide
Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

The bending of the liquid resin is affected by both the time it’s exposed to light and the intensity of that light. Qi explains to ResearchGate that when the layer of liquid resin is exposed to the light, it shrinks the layers of resin at different rates. The layer hit directly by the light cures faster than the layers farther down. Because the different sides of the resin aren’t curing at the same rate, it creates what he calls “nonuniform shrinkage stress,” bending the resin along that path of light as it solidifies.

Since the layers of resin are so thin, it's very difficult to make larger objects using this technique. The resin origami figures they've made so far are smaller than the face of a quarter.

an origami crane made of orange resin sitting on a quarter on a white table
Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

The Georgia Tech team suggests that this technique could be used to make soft origami machines, among other applications. They aren’t the only ones working on this technology, though. Recently, scientists at North Carolina State University created similar self-folding polymers that were controlled by different colored lights. Those researchers hoped to be able to remotely manipulate materials on satellites in space or for medical uses.

[h/t ResearchGate]

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Getting Calls From Your Own Phone Number? Don't Answer!
Original image
iStock

There’s a new phone scam that could affect you, according to Washington’s KIRO 7 News. In addition to keeping your eyes open for calls that come from area codes like 473 or involve people claiming to be Equifax representatives, you now have to watch out for your own phone number.

Scammers are manipulating your phone’s caller ID to make it look like you’re getting a call from your own phone number, then posing as someone from a wireless carrier like AT&T or Verizon. They tell whoever answers the phone that their account has been flagged for security reasons, then ask for the last four digits of that person’s Social Security number. The FCC has been aware of these scams for at least two years, but they seem to be ramping up once again.

In general, you shouldn’t give out any part of your Social Security number over the phone on an incoming call. If you’re suspicious, you can always call your carrier back using the official customer service phone number on their website or on your bill. But it’s best not to pick up at all. If you receive a call from your own number, don’t answer or press any buttons. Instead, file a complaint with the FCC.

[h/t KIRO 7 News]

Original image
Samsung
arrow
fun
Samsung’s Star Wars Vacuums Offer Everything You Want in a Droid
Original image
Samsung

Hate housecleaning but love Star Wars? Samsung’s got the solution. In anticipation of December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the newest film in the Star Wars saga, Samsung has transformed a limited number of its VR7000 POWERbot robot vacuum cleaners into two familiar faces from George Lucas’s legendary space opera: a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader (which comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and a remote control).

In order to create a unique device that would truly thrill Star Wars aficionados, Samsung consulted with fans of the film throughout each stage of the process. The result is a pair of custom-crafted robo-vacuums that fill your home with the sounds of a galaxy far, far away as they clean (when you turn Darth Vader on, for example, you'll hear his iconic breathing).

“We are very pleased to be part of the excitement leading up to the release of The Last Jedi and to be launching our limited edition POWERbot in partnership with Star Wars fans,” B.S. Suh, Samsung’s executive vice president, said in a press statement. “From its industry-leading suction power, slim design, and smart features, to the wonderful character-themed voice feedback and sound effects, we are confident the Star Wars limited edition of the VR7000 will be a big hit.”

Be warned that this kind of power suction doesn’t come cheap: while the Stormtrooper POWERbot will set you back $696, the Darth Vader vacuum retails for $798. Who knew the Dark Side was so sparkling clean?


Samsung

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios