Paul Strohmeier, of the University College Maastricht, built this beautiful animated origami bird flock system using a flexible stretch sensor, an Arduino, and some servos. To me, the use of the bird as both input and output in the piece is fascinating and wonderful.

Update: Paul has created this project for a Computing and Creative Arts course at the School of Computing of Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, under the supervision of Roel Verdegaal.

I use a servo for the movement. It uses a pulley system with fishing rod cable. The “sensorbird” has a small stretch sensor within it. It’s pretty robust – I had a bunch of random people try it, and nobody broke it and everyone immediately was able to use it. And its fun. (And pointless, but that’s sort of the beauty of it, i guess.)

Animating Paper Via Arduino Forums

In the Maker Shed:


Arduino Family

Make: Arduino

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works at Disney Research and writes for Make and Boing Boing. He is training for American Ninja Warrior. You can find him at and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.

  • Connor Dickie

    This project was part of Roel Vertegaal’s (Director of the Human Media Lab) Computing and the Creative Arts (COCA201) class in the School of Computing at Queen’s University.

    Great Class! Great Projects!

  • Paul Strohmeier

    watch a video of us presenting our installation at an excibit at queens university: