Watch Cynthia Sung Bring Origami Robots to Life on ‘Mission Unstoppable’

Cynthia Sung, Gabel Family Term Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, grew up folding paper into classic origami designs and dreamed of creating some of her own one day. And though she became a roboticist rather than an artist, her childhood dreams still found a way into her work.

Sung recently appeared on Mission Unstoppable, which introduces young people to possible STEM careers by profiling women in a wide range of scientific fields, to explain how she ended up combining these two interests.

Through a library of shapes and folding patterns that can be turned into various robotic body parts, along with standardized electronic components that allow them to move and respond to stimuli, Sung’s “robogami” approach allows anyone to design and build a basic robot in a matter of minutes. By simplifying and democratizing this process, Sung hopes that robotics becomes a truly interdisciplinary pursuit.