Modular Evolutionary Origami Robotics


Evolutionary robotics lends itself to exploring novel design paradigms in research to assess the efficacy of those designs relative to known paradigms in the space. Origami is one such paradigm that has been relatively under-explored, and has many potential strengths due to the versatility of origami designs, which can potentially entirely reform their bodies to perform different tasks, just by changing a few folds.

Evolutionary robotics pairs well with this in that it frequently finds novel solutions to a given problem. The strengths of origami robots can make it difficult to envisage how a given body might adapt to a different task, but evolutionary methods can discover these methods without the inherent bias that we have when thinking of something for a given purpose.


Rhett Flanagan I’m a Masters student doing my research on using Origami as the design paradigm for a modular evolutionary robotics framework, with the intention of continuing in the line for a PhD. Outside of research, I am fairly active, I once wanted to try get to the Olympics for rowing, before injury, and now I’m training to start doing ultra marathons. I’m also an active member of the UCT ballroom society, general bookworm, and am somewhat obsessed with optimizing the ergonomics at my desk.


2 August 2023