This article was originally published on April 26, 2012.
Based on a geometrical band created by Swiss artist and inventor Paul Schatz, the SmartInversion is filled with helium and propels itself through the air by constantly turning itself inside out.
This giant piece of origami is composed of selectively-linked, extremely lightweight tetrahedron-shaped compartments filled with helium. Operated by electric actuators, it uses inversion kinetics to propel the contraption forwards.
With the geometrical band Schatz discovered that the principle of kinematics, which until then had been based on rotation and translation (linear motion), could be extended by a further mode: inversion.
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