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Origami Bridge Pops Up In a Disaster

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Published on - 30-Jul-2015 11:26 pm

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Japan is no stranger to disaster. The country experienced a devastating tsunami back in 2011 and earthquakes — about 1,500 per year — are a part of daily life. Such disasters can destroy roads and bridges needed for evacuation.

At Hiroshima University, researchers are working on a bridge inspired by the art of origami that expands to temporarily accommodate gaps.

The Mobile Bridge Version 4.0, developed by a team led by Dr. Ichiro Ario, expands and contracts like an accordion and is described as the the world’s largest, strongest and lightest expanding temporary bridge.

Deployment is fast, too. It takes just an hour to set it up and in a recent demonstration for the Japan Society of Civil Engineers, took just five minutes to expand over the Hongo River in Fukuyama City.

In addition to being used at disaster site, the bridge could also be erected as a temporary structure when existing bridges are under construction.

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