Computer model unfolds the map muddle.
© Getty Images
Match up folds to fight stubborn paper.
No road journey is complete without a wrestle with the map. Now a US computer scientist has worked out why the map usually wins.
Erik Demaine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge has come up with an origami algorithm that predicts when a stubborn street plan will be re-foldable. "It’s the meeting of paper folding and computer science," he says.
Crumpling the map into the glove box won’t help. A single 45° fold in the sheet, and the problem foxes even a computer, Demaine found. The models are probably little help to the harassed motorist, he admits.
Paper does not always follow predictions, warns mathematician Martin Kruskal of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Unlike a computer model, real paper has thickness - an A4 sheet is nearly impossible to fold in half more than six times. "Idealization has limitations," he says.
Computational origami is attacking other seemingly intractable paper-folding challenges. The gift-wrapping problem - the smallest square of paper that can cover a regular object - challenges many at Christmas. Comfortingly, it has only been solved for wrapping a simple cube.
Such algorithms can also predict whether a three-dimensional object can be unfolded into a flat sheet. The sheet-metal industry uses the program in reverse to build furniture or cars from a single sheet. Computational origami also creates new designs for the Japanese art.
HELEN PEARSON | © Nature News Service
Electric hybrid bus line in Stockholm uses Siemens charging system
17.03.2015 | Siemens AG
LOGWERT adds to Heilbronn's status as a research hub
10.03.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
27.03.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
27.03.2015 | Materials Sciences
27.03.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation