Monday, November 17, 2008

Origami In Space

I was doing a bit of web research for a map folding problem (yeah, that's the sort of thing I do in my spare time), and ran across the science of Computational Origami.

It's all about using computers to simulate paper folding. That might seem like a huge waste of time, but they've applied origami techniques to a wide number of engineering problems. For example, here's a link to a page that talks about using origami techniques to fold the material for a telescope dish into a precise form to allow it to fit into a rocket. The idea being that you can put a telescope in space that way. And this link is about the applications of computational origami to airbag design and simulation.

That's one of the things I love about computer science. No matter how much you know about it, there's always some specialized field that you've never heard about, but is very cool.