IoT-Rex: Kinetic Origami

Short thesis

Of magnets and miracles. The IoT-Rex is the dinosaur that moves when you tap a button on your smartphone app.
This is an introductory workshop that combines the physicality of paper folding with the "digitalness" of WiFi and basic electronics to make origami move.
Jump right in with the Internet of Things (IoT) and make your very own creature come alive. Basic electronics, some copy-paste coding, paper-folding, and magnets and miracles :)


In this workshop I'll be walking you through the process of initializing, connecting, coding, and making a smartphone-app triggered origami creature, the IoT-Rex. Using this as a learning example, you can create your own paper creature, design and code their  movements or use the concepts to build wierd and wonderful IoT creations of your own.

With the genius of origami, making a dinosaur out of paper requires just 2 square pieces of paper, working with your hands, patience and focus. Working with basic electronics happily just reqiures similar hands-on interaction and the willingness to learn by doing.

Having folded the dinosaur, you are introduced to the Particle Photon IoT prtotyping device, a simple servo motor and how to connect, initialise and trigger the Photon to make the servo move.

The digital side is where most beginners shy away from IoT since it requires writing code for the Web. Enter IFTTT (ifttt.com) designed to "put the internet to work for you" where coding for the web is simplified down to a recipe. You will need to use a web-browser to create an IFTTT account (free) and learn to add a recipe that is triggered by the DO smartphone app (also free).

Combining the digital with the physical while keeping them decouopled: magnets. This allows for the electronics to be hidden away beneath the surface of a box while the dinosaur "stands" above.


When the servo moves the dinosaur moves as well. Like a little dino-dance. 


Since this is no longer just another origami creature but an IoT - Rex, the dino-dance can be triggered from anywhere in the world (with internet access).

Concepts: IoT (Internet of things)  Basic programming for microcontrollers (Particle Photon) IFTTT (DO) app & recipes Fun making fun things fun, connecting physical things to the cloud

What will you make next?

Note: 15 participants maximum. Please sign up at the GIG makerspace.  Sign up sheet will be available from the start of Day 1. Please come 10 mins before workshop. Participants will need to download the free DO app from the AppStore or Google Play.

Attending workshops are free for participants who sign up.  If you would like to take one of the products with you after the workshop, donations are very welcome in order to cover the cost of materials.  Expected donation to take parts: 40 euros

Vielen Dank and many thanks to Bürklin for their awesome sponsorship of the hardware used in this workshop!