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This magical metamaterial could revolutionize car safety and save lives

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Scientists at the University of Washington have created a new shock absorption metamaterial that uses origami to completely absorb a hard impact and transform that crushing force into a gentle pull. The findings have potential implications in everything, from delivering packages via drones to landing spaceships.

According to one of the research authors—UW associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics Jinkyu Yang—”if you were wearing a football helmet made of this material and something hit the helmet, you’d never feel that hit on your head.” In fact, by the time the impact energy reaches you, he says, it has been transformed from a crushing push to a light pull.

When you see it in action, it looks like magic. The idea of using a shape that can transform pushing forces into pulling forces is impossibly........

© Fast Company