Action origami is origami that can be animated. The original traditional action model is a flapping bird. Models whose final assembly involves some special action, such as blowing up a water bomb, are also usually classified as action origami. Also included are rare models such as paper planes and spinners with no moving parts. Traditional action origami sometimes included cuts, but modern models are usually built without cuts. Action origami are usually toys made for fun, but some are designed to surprise you.

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Action toys

Action toys include flapping birds and butterflies, pecking and jumping frogs, as well as traditional favorites such as fortune tellers. A paper popper or banger is a model that produces a sound when struck hard. Some action origami are designed to accompany a story during assembly.

Complex models

Some models are too complicated to be classified as toys. They are made to surprise and amaze. For example, Robert J. Lang's Bassist, Pianist, and Violinist are a series of action models that each play an instrument when properly tugged. Jeremy Shaffer has created a number of extraordinary action models, including the Swiss Army Knife with Opening Tool, the Slippery Snake Skin, and the Flasher, one of which will be demonstrated at the Carol Duvall Show Did.

Mathematical models

The Flasher is a model with a regular pattern that folds small and expands quickly. Miura folding is a similar concept used in commercial applications. For example, a version with a regular pattern can be used to appear humanoid when folded and a labyrinth when unfolded.

Action origami using smart materials

Researchers are using a variety of smart material techniques to create active-action origami structures. Scientists and engineers are using materials such as electroactive polymers (EAP), shape memory polymers, and shape memory alloys to achieve action origami structures. These origami-inspired concepts have a wide range of applications, including space-deployable solar arrays, cardiac stents, and morphing wings.

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Definition & Meaning



  • something done (usually as opposed to something said the state of being active a military engagement a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings the series of events that form a plot the trait of being active and energetic and forceful the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism a judicial proceeding brought by one party against another; one party prosecutes another for a wrong done or for protection of a right or for prevention of a wrong an act by a government body or supranational organization the most important or interesting work or activity in a specific area or field


  • institute legal proceedings against; file a suit against put in effect



  • the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes representing objects (e.g., flowers or birds