Computational Design Lab

Interactive Paper Devices

Paper Robots

Paper Robots are little playful toys that use Nitinol shapememory alloy (SMA) wires and embedded electronics to move and interact with people. Their bodies are made from paper folded into cubes of varying size and animated by SMA wire that connects parts of their paper bodies.

Paper Speaker

Paper Speakers plug into any device with a headphone port and plays sounds (Figure 2 center). It’s made of a copper coil is hand-wound around a neodymium magnetic core attached to one face of a paper box. On the outside, a paper shell acts as a diaphragm and the oscillating magnet produces a visible and audible vibration.

Paper Lamp

A Paper Lamp is a paper shell with patterns cut into its surface and a light bulb inside.


The forms co-evolved from a dialogue between a user choosing desired forms and a computer system generating and simulating variations, evaluating the resulting forms based on physical constraints, production, amount of material used, etc.

The lamps’ skins are parametrically generated based on their forms.

The three devices form a family of Interactive Paper Devices. They explore an ongoing interest in designers using new technologies, materials and information channels to create systems instead of designs. or perhaps more accurately designs that are a dialogue between the user and the designer with computer program as mediation.
To know more, visit Greg Saul’s portfolio, or read the publication at ACM SIGCHI TEI’10.

Author: Greg Saul
Category: Projects