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Origami-inspired Shelters Could Serve Military, Disaster Relief Efforts

Nina Welding • DATE: August 10, 2015

Categories:  Press Release

Most people are familiar with origami, the ancient paper-folding art form that creates unique patterns and shapes. Less familiar is the fact that origami has inspired the design of engineering devices and structures.

Ashley P. Thrall, the Myron and Rosemary Noble Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, is developing origami-inspired shelters that have many potential uses from military applications to humanitarian assistance. Through funding from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Thrall, faculty in aerospace and mechanical and also electrical engineering and their team of students and postdoctoral research associates are developing an origami-inspired deployable shelter with integrated planning and management.

The origami shelter created by Thrall and her team would reduce energy consumption, would be deployable by a few soldiers in about half an hour, and could be transported by plane, ship or truck on a standard military pallet. It also holds great promise as an environmentally friendly shelter for disaster relief efforts around the world.

Notre Dame Office of Media Relations

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