Watch Self-Folding Origami Take All the Fun Out of Tiny Paper Boats

Click to viewResearchers at MIT and Harvard, it seems, have been putting those big brains to use to create automated origami. It's crazy cool engineering, and creepy in a Frankenstein's lab type of way. But can it make a paper crane?

The feat was accomplished by outfitting one thin sheet of fiberglass with motorized switches and flexible electronics, then feeding it an algorithm for folding. The shapes shown above are a simple, traditional boat and plane, but there's nothing keeping the tech from producing more complex results like that crane. Or, more likely, practical designs like a multitool or cups that adjust their size based on the quantity of liquid.

Most of all, I wish this had been commonplace in the early 90s. Would've saved me a lot of trouble in Mr. Larson's art class. [ZDNet]