Outdoors

Origami umbrella bounces back from being blown inside out

Origami umbrella bounces back ...
The Sa is made of plastic that's stiffer than typical umbrella fabric
The Sa is made of plastic that's stiffer than typical umbrella fabric
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The Sa umbrella is designed to bounce back into shape if it blows inside out
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The Sa umbrella is designed to bounce back into shape if it blows inside out
The Sa is made of plastic that's stiffer than typical umbrella fabric
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The Sa is made of plastic that's stiffer than typical umbrella fabric
The Sa's canopy panels contribute to the its structural integrity
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The Sa's canopy panels contribute to the its structural integrity
The Sa does away with the typical umbrella mechanism, instead using a small inverted internal canopy
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The Sa does away with the typical umbrella mechanism, instead using a small inverted internal canopy
The Sa's internal and external canopies open and close in unison
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The Sa's internal and external canopies open and close in unison
The Sa is opened by twisting the bottom of the handle
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The Sa is opened by twisting the bottom of the handle
The top part of the handle is released via a spring mechanism and is connected to the interior canopy
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The top part of the handle is released via a spring mechanism and is connected to the interior canopy
When the Sa is closed, its panels wrap around each other
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When the Sa is closed, its panels wrap around each other
Magnets are used to keep the Sa panels together when it is closed
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Magnets are used to keep the Sa panels together when it is closed
The Sa is made of plastic that's stiffer than typical umbrella fabric
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The Sa is made of plastic that's stiffer than typical umbrella fabric
View gallery - 10 images

Struggling with an umbrella that has blown inside out in the wind is enough to dampen anyone's spirit. A newly-designed umbrella based on origami, however, could make it less of a struggle. The Sa will reportedly "bounce back into shape" should it blow inside out, even in high winds.

Perhaps one day someone will reinvent the umbrella in such a perfect way as to effectively put a stop any further reinventions. Evidently that's not been the case yet, though, as in recent times we've seen the umbrella reimagined as a hands-free helmet, a vertical rain shield and an air-blasting force-field. Where these ideas make wholesale changes to the traditional brolly design, the Sa seeks only to refine it.

Created by designers Justin Nagelberg and Matthew Waldman, the Sa takes the familiar shape of the traditional umbrella, but replaces the fabric canopy with stiffer plastic in folded sections. It also does away with the traditional umbrella mechanism and skeleton that can be so easily overpowered, replacing it with another smaller inverted canopy.

The Sa does away with the typical umbrella mechanism, instead using a small inverted internal canopy
The Sa does away with the typical umbrella mechanism, instead using a small inverted internal canopy

To open the umbrella, the user rotates the bottom of the handle, releasing the top section of the handle via a spring-loaded mechanism. This top part of the handle is connected directly to the interior canopy, which itself opens and pushes the exterior canopy open. The canopy panels themselves contribute to the Sa's structural integrity in a way that ordinary umbrella fabric cannot.

According to the designers, the Sa uses planar tension to produce its shape and structure. It is said to be lighter than a traditional umbrella, due to not using the standard metal mechanism, and more durable due to having no exposed moving parts.

Nagelberg and Waldman also claim that the Sa is safer that a traditional umbrella. The corners of the panels are blunted, meaning there's less chance of someone's eye being accidentally damaged. Replacing the internal mechanism, meanwhile, is said to have created more headroom inside the umbrella.

Amongst the Sa's other features are magnets placed along its perimeter. These hold the panels together when the umbrella is closed and wrapped around the pole. The product is also mostly recyclable due to being made primarily of plastic.

Magnets are used to keep the Sa panels together when it is closed
Magnets are used to keep the Sa panels together when it is closed

A Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise money for the production of the Sa. The campaign has already surpassed its target comfortably. At the time of writing, backers can pledge from US$89 for one Sa umbrella. Assuming the campaign and production process go to plan, deliveries are expected to begin from February or March 2015.

The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the Sa.

Sources: parallelogr.am, Kickstarter

View gallery - 10 images
4 comments
Bob Flint
Am I missing something, in the open position it looks like a ridged panel with the folds, and presumably flexible joints where the folds are neatly welded to the inner canopy. Yet in the closed, rolled up state the folded panels are now supple flaps and conform to a curvature, held with magnets which seem invisible in the open photos.... One or the other unless your missing the electrical charge to induce the memory of the conductive plastic skin to transform from supple to ridge in a matter of milliseconds aka (Batman's cape)...
Richard Guy
No evidence it can inert and revert in this footage. Nice idea but I would need to see more
Slowburn
If it works. But I have found that just not opening it quite as far works.
windykites
I wonder if they have actually made a working prototype, and why the video didn't show the main feature: turning inside out and recovering. I have an umbrella that has vents in it, so that it does not turn inside out in a strong wind.