Date of Award

May 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Suyi Li

Committee Member

Ardalan Vahidi

Committee Member

Phanindra Tallapragada

Committee Member

Umesh Vaidya


Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, has found lots of different applications in various branches of science, including engineering. However, most of the studies on engineering applications of origami have been limited to static or quasistatic applications. Origami folding, on the other hand, could be a dynamic process. The intricate nonlinear elastic properties of origami structures can lead to interesting dynamic characteristics and applications. Nevertheless, studying the dynamics of folding is still a nascent field. In this dissertation, we try to expand our knowledge of fundamentals of origami folding dynamics. We look at the problem of origami folding dynamics from two different perspectives: 1) How can we utilize folding-induced mechanical properties for dynamic applications? and 2) How can we fold origami structures using dynamic excitations? In order to answer these questions, we conduct three different projects. Regarding the first perspective, we study a unique asymmetric quasi-zero stiffness (QZS) property from the pressurized fluidic origami cellular structure, and examine the feasibility and efficiency of using this nonlinear property for low-frequency vibration isolation. In another project, we analyze the feasibility of utilizing origami folding techniques to create an optimized jumping mechanism. And finally, regarding the second perspective, we examine a rapid and reversible origami folding method by exploiting a combination of resonance excitation, asymmetric multi-stability, and active control. In addition to these studies, Witnessing the rich and nonlinear dynamic characteristics of origami structures, in this dissertation we introduce the idea of using origami structures as physical reservoir computing systems and investigate their potentials in sensing and signal processing tasks without relying on external digital components and signal processing units.



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