These origami cranes can bust a move

Origami cranes are cool, but do you know what’s even cooler? Origami cranes that groove to an LMFAO-like beat. 

When inanimate origami no longer suffices, you can always do what multimedia artist Ugoita has done: create a slick electromagnetic stage to bring a quintet of paper cranes to life. The aptly named Dancing Paper project uses several individually-controlled magnets to move the handmade objects from side to side along with a few twirls thrown in the mix. The installation shares the same animation method used in those miniature Christmas village skating pond decorations. In this case, each of the supporting dancers have a line of four magnets, while the featured dancer (after all, every group has a lead) boasts a 5×5 matrix. The 41 electromagnets were wound around bolts with the help of a Tamiya motor and gearbox.

“The actual dance moves are controlled by C code which appears to be running on an Atmel MCU. Of course a microcontroller wouldn’t be able to drive those big coils, so some beefy TO-220 case transistors were employed to switch the loads,” Hackaday’s Adam Fabio notes. “The cranes themselves needed a bit of modification as well. Thin pieces of wire travel from the neodymium magnets on their feet up to the body of the crane. The wire provides just enough support to keep the paper from collapsing, while still being flexible enough to boogie down.”

Watch the whimsical performance below, as the paper cranes pull off a couple of moves that would even impress the likes of Tony Manero and Beyonce!

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