A folding curtain that folds into a space that’s too small to fit in the existing folding doors has been invented by researchers from the University of Melbourne.
The research team, led by Professor Stephen Smith from the Department of Mathematics at the University, said the curtain could be used for both the home and business to save space and cost.
“Our work was inspired by a real life situation where a small family member was unable to use the bathroom, but we realised that the folding curtain could save them time and energy in the long run,” Professor Smith said.
“We’ve come up with a clever solution that folds out into a smaller space, then closes using a simple and simple-looking device.”
The team’s solution is based on the concept of a ‘tentacle’ which has been used to open doors in past research and the team believe it will be useful for future door designs.
“One of the biggest challenges in creating effective door designs is the shape of the opening,” Professor Jones said.”[The tentacle] was invented to help the door open in a specific shape so that the opening would be small and have enough volume to accommodate a door that could be opened from outside.”
So our tentacle is made of a thin sheet of plastic which folds out like a book when folded, but when it’s unfolded, it actually becomes a large book and when it is unfolded it becomes a book of its own.
“The folding of the tentacle will allow the opening of the door to be very small.”
While the concept was born in a research study, Professor Smith believes it could be useful in everyday life as well.
“You could probably make a tentacle for your door or your window, if you want,” he said.
The tentacled curtain has been designed to fit under a folding curtain which can be found in most homes.
“In the real world, you’d want a little more space, but if you wanted to have a very big door that is very large, this is great for that,” Professor John Jones said, adding that the tentacling curtain could also be used as a folding door when needed.
“If you’re looking for a folding toilet, then this is an option.”