Animated paper: A toolkit for building moving toys

Naoya Koizumi, Kentaro Yasu, Angela Liu, Maki Sugimoto, Masahiko Inami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of available rapid prototyping tools, making it easier than ever to create functioning prototypes with minimal technical background and at a low cost. However, most of these tools do not have the flexibility to allow for immediate physical modifications once a prototype has been built or programmed, and are often limited in movement by the size or range of the wired system. Accordingly, simple paper remains one of the most pervasive creative platforms in the world due to its low cost, light weight, freedom of physical spatial manipulation, disposability, and low interaction overhead. In this article we introduce "Animated Paper," a new wireless prototyping platform which combines paper, shape memory alloy (SMA), retro-reflective material, and copper foil. This platform makes it possible to create moving toys out of ordinary print paper with minimal modification to the physical composition of the paper itself, facilitating simple trial-and-error modifications. We also introduce a laser control system which allows for precise, wireless motion control of the SMA-enhanced paper by tracking retro-reflective markers on the paper using a laser and photo sensor. Lastly, we present the results of a preliminary user study to demonstrate the usability of our prototype system and also provide possibilities for how to further develop our wirelessly controlled, moving paper platform.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalComputers in Entertainment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec


  • Flexible structure
  • Organic user interfaces
  • Paper
  • Shape memory alloy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Animated paper: A toolkit for building moving toys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this