A reconfigurable interactive interface for controlling robotic origami in virtual environments

Origami shape transformation is dictated by predefined folding patterns and their folding sequence. The working principle of robotic origami is based on the same principle: we design quasi-two-dimensional tiles and connecting hinges and define and program their folding sequences. Since the tiles are often of uniform shape and size, their final configuration is governed by the kinematic relationship. Mathematicians, computer scientists and even architects have studied a wide range of origami algorithms. However, for multiple shape transformations, the origami design parameters and consequently sequence planning become more challenging. In this work, we present a reconfigurable interactive interface, a physics-based modeling control interface to explore the design space of origami robots. We developed two interactive modes for proof of concept of a bidirectional communication interface between virtual and physical environments. The first interaction mode is origami-inspired, foldable surfaces with distributed sensors that can recreate folding sequences and shape transformations in a virtual environment via hardware-in-loop simulation. Its complementary digital transcription lays the foundation for a robotic origami design tool that provides visual representation of various design formulations as well as an intuitive controller for robotic origami. In the second interaction mode, we construct a physics-based modeling interface for intuitive user manipulation of robotic origami in a virtual environment. Algorithms for graphical representation and command transformation were developed for robotic interaction. Lastly, we tested the efficacy of the algorithms on prototypes to discover the applications and capacities of the reconfigurable interactive interface.

Published in:
The International Journal of Robotics Research, 37, 6, 629-647
May 02 2018
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Note: The status of this file is: Anyone
The status of this file is: EPFL only

 Record created 2018-05-02, last modified 2020-10-27

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