While we think of origami as art, it increasingly is being used by companies and researchers in space, medicine, robotics, architecture, public safety and the military to solve vexing design problems, often to fit big things into small spaces. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers now includes origami in its annual conferences. So has the American Mathematical Society.
At the center of that transformation is a small number of scientists and engineers championing the practical applications of the Japanese art. Foremost among them is Lang, a passionate proselytizer for the art and the science of origami. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Caltech and a master’s degree at Stanford University, both in electrical engineering, before finishing a Ph.D. in applied physics at Caltech. He folded throughout as a way to relax, designing mostly bugs and animals—a hermit crab, a mouse in a mousetrap, an ant. Some took him weeks to design and hours to fold. Shortly after he began working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1988 (Lang has published more than 80 papers and has 50 patents), he folded a life-size cuckoo clock.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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