Flexible, resilient origami-inspired bridges could help navigate disaster zones

Origami traditionally involves the creation of extremely delicate paper structures, but the art form’s underlying principles could soon be adapted to help navigate tough construction situations. That’s the theory behind a new series of collapsible components designed by a team of University of Michigan engineering professors. When unfolded and assembled using hinges and locks, the researchers’ pieces combine to become extremely sturdy modular structures. Given their design’s impressive durability and spatial economy, the new origami-inspired constructions could be deployed across natural disaster zones, or even in outer space.