Origami Inspired Outsole Provides Dynamic Traction

MIT recently shared these Origami inspired, Kirigami outsole tread patterns that when maniuplated transform from a flat 2D object, to a 3D object with protruding spikes that will add significant traction.

“Through this work we set out to address the challenge of preventing falls, particularly on icy, slippery surfaces, and developed a kirigami-based system that facilitates an increase of friction with a surface.” – Giovanni Traverso

Giovanni Traverso, an MIT assistant professor of mechanical engineering, a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Katia Bertoldi, a professor of applied mechanics at Harvard University, are the senior authors of the study, which appears today in Nature Biomedical Engineering. MIT Research Scientist Sahab Babaee is the lead author of the paper, along with Simo Pajovic, an MIT graduate student, and Ahmad Rafsanjani, a former postdoc at Harvard University.

The team of researchers and engineers initially created the system to prevent slipping on ice, they beleive this system could also be helpful in other situations, like wet or oily setting and are continuing to research how to best integrate the system into footwear.

“We’re looking at potential routes to commercialize the system, as well as further development of the system through different use cases,” Traverso says.

Below you can see some of the prototypes of the Kirigami structures.

via – MIT


Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks | www.MrBailey.co.uk

Start the conversation