The versatility of origami: from Japanese culture to NASA engineering, medicine and technology

A NASA, known for its relentless pursuit of innovation, found inspiration in an unlikely source: origami. This ancient Japanese art of paper folding has been adopted by it and many other fields, going beyond traditional paper figures to achieve amazing advances in science, technology and medicine.

The space agency is committed to designing a device capable of deploying effectively in space, serving as a layer of radiation protection for manned spacecraft.

Thus, the origami enters the picture as an essential tool for creating two-dimensional structures that can transform into compact three-dimensional shapes, keeping payloads small during space missions.

The folding patterns used in origami are also found in nature, from leaves emerging from cocoons to insects folding their wings.

Understanding these patterns requires mathematics, enabling the development of practical solutions, such as structures that unfold and assemble modularly in space.

Origami has also found notable applications in medicine, such as Mori3 robot, which is inspired by origami, being designed for modularity and versatility in space travel. Additionally, satellites utilize origami-based solar panels to fold into compact shapes before launch.

Additionally, origami, combined with artificial intelligence, is being used to understand protein folding, a process crucial to life.

This understanding can shed light on diseases such as Alzheimer’s, as proteins resemble origami structures, with specific folds that perform vital functions in cells.

Image: Yandex/Reproduction

A future of innovation

The impact of origami goes far beyond space exploration and medicine. It is paving the way for incision-free surgery, foldable robots and innovative medical solutions.

This ancient Japanese art has become a pillar of scientific innovation in the modern world, opening up a world of possibilities for the future.

Origami is a living testament to the human capacity to transform a traditional art into innovative and scientifically relevant solutions.

As the NASA and other fields explore the applications of origami, this ancient art continues to unfold unexpected possibilities, shaping the future of science and technology in fascinating and surprising ways.

Origami is a reminder that creativity and inspiration can come from unexpected sources, connecting the past and future in truly remarkable ways.

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