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Eye on Nature

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Industrial Uses

Inspiring Yourself

Learn from Biomimicry Design Cases

Putting Satellite
Into
Cereal Box

Cereal-box-size room for satellite

In a rocket, only a tiny cereal-box-size space is reserved for a satellite. Why is there so little space on such a giant rocket? Most of the rooms in a rocket are occupied by fuel. Because the Earth's gravity is so powerful, transporting a tiny satellite needs a lot of energy to get out of the Earth.

Space Satellite

Check how do we launch the things into space

Wide solar panels are more useful
Have you ever seen a satellite in a movie? Wide and glittering solar panels are very distinguishable. This glittering solar panel generates the necessary power for the satellite.

So? To provide enough energy, the size of solar panels is better to big.
But larger panels take up too much space on rockets, making transportation extremely expensive.

Here is the design dilemma: The smaller satellite is less expensive. However, the bigger solar panel is more useful.

Can we make it small?
This dilemma is tough to resolve. Can we make it small and make it large again?

Then we may launch large solar panel satellites into space.

Let's read the articles below and investigate the design problem.

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“Solar panels in space could be a huge deal. The energy they collect could be beamed down to Earth or used to power spacecraft. But like so many other space travel and space exploration issues, the problem has to do with size. For a solar panel array to be worth the trouble it takes to get it into space, it would have to be pretty big. And to get something pretty big into space, you have to use a whole lot of resources – and most space shuttles really don’t have the room to carry a huge apparatus.”

from https://gajitz.com/origami-solar-array-blooms-in-space-to-collect-sun-power/

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“he sad reality of space exploration is that it is very expensive to launch something into space. Prices go even further up when the satellites in question are bulky, as it is increasingly often the case. With the new solar arrays, spacecraft will be deployed farther from Earth, and still be able to produce electricity.”

from https://news.softpedia.com/news/Origami-Style-Solar-Arrays-to-Power-Up-Future-Satellites-and-Space-Stations-409705.shtml

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“Ah, simplicity… sometimes so complex to achieve.

Designing technology for launch into space is an exacting and ever evolving enterprise. And these engineers and designers face the same problem we have when trying to squeeze that extra pair of shoes into our carry-on, a large piece of technology must fit on board, and then be unpacked successfully when needed in space”

from https://whipplerussell.com/blog/modern-design-using-origami-in-space

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Which strategy do you want to choose for putting a satellite into a cereal box?

Here are strategies that you can choose to solve this problem. Think what strategy make you easy to put a satellite into a cereal box.
If you have chosen one, then why? Carefully explore the strategies and ideas listed below. You can check the scientific background of each idea if you click them.

Explore functional strategies and choose an   idea  that you want utilize! 

Share your ideas with your team!~

Ready

to

proceed?

Nature's Solution

Winged Insects
Expand Wings
using Lever 

You can find winged insects from all around the world!

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Most insects belonging to the Pterygota category have wings. They have unique forms and mechanisms to utilize the wings.
Find winged insects from a neighborhood and observe how they utilize their wings.
How they fold and expand their wings?

Don't miss those winged insects!

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Who's the
         most skillful?

There are many meanings of 'skillful.' What would be the most important factor in deciding the 'skillful winged insect'?
Flight distance? Or high maneuverability to avoid a predator's attack? If we consider our problem (putting a satellite in a cereal box), then the wings' expansion ratio might be considered significantly.

Grand Prize
for Winged Insects

The highest
Expansion
Rate

The Earwig

The winged insect has the highest expansion rate in the world.

The earwigs have incredible folding mechanism for wings. When they unfold their wings, the wings are expanded more than 10 times larger.
This expansion rate is known as the highest among the all living organisms. Thanks to the mechanism, the earwigs can securely keep their wings in very tight spaces when they don't use their wings.

Say hello to Earwig!

Meet his relatives

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Researchers have been studying the secret of the wing's folding mechanism. They discovered a unique and complex folding pattern from it. This pattern makes the wing expands 10-15 times larger than folded.

Let's Make it Real

Earwig Wing Paper-craft

Kazuya Saito at Kyushu University Faculty of Design and his/her colleagues released paper-craft-fold patterns of the earwig wing. So that you can make it yourself!

Try making your own paper earwig followed by the video instruction.

LEVEL 1 : Making Earwig Fan

Introduction

Difficulty: Easy
Time taken: 10-20min
Components:

  • printed paper

  • cutter (utility knife)

  • ruler

  • ball point pen

  • cutting mat (optional)

Step1: Download the fold-pattern PDF file and print it on A4 paper

You can download the fold-pattern PDF file from the creator's website below.

Download link:
https://archive.iii.kyushu-u.ac.jp/public/KelYAAdJowFA-u0B4G1z0EI2dL9S5lQeFw8FwRkmLxlm

Step2: Trace all fold lines with a ball-point-pen

Before folding, trace all fold-lines strongly with a ball-point-pen. It helps you to fold the paper later.

Step3: Cut through outlines with cutter (utility knife) and fold it!

Mountain fold

Valley fold

You should fold the paper down in thick lines (Mountain fold) and fold it up in thin lines (Valley fold).

Video Instruction

Screenshot 2022-11-24 at 11.23.54 AM.png

This video instruction and fold-patterns are created by Kazuya Saito of the Kyushu University Faculty of Design.

Please click the image to play the video instruction.

LEVEL 2 : Making an Earwig

Introduction

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Difficulty: Hard
Time taken: 2 hours
Components:

  • printed paper

  • cutter (utility knife)

  • ruler

  • ball point pen

  • glue stick

  • cutting mat (optional)

Step1: Download the fold-pattern PDF files and print them on A4 papers

You can download the fold-pattern PDF files from the creator's website below. When you print them out, please use thick papers for the body parts, and thin paper for the wing part!

Download link:

https://archive.iii.kyushu-u.ac.jp/public/KelYAAdJowFA-u0B4G1z0EI2dL9S5lQeFw8FwRkmLxlm

Step2: Trace all fold lines with a ball point pen

Before folding, trace all fold-lines strongly with a ball-point-pen. It helps you to fold the paper later.

Step3: Cut through outlines with cutter (utility knife) and fold it!

Mountain fold

Valley fold

You should fold the paper down in thick lines (Mountain fold) and fold it up in thin lines (Valley fold).

Video Instruction

Screenshot 2022-11-24 at 11.23.54 AM.png

This video instruction and fold-patterns are created by Kazuya Saito of the Kyushu University Faculty of Design.

Please click the image to play the video instruction.

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