In 2010, researchers developed a method where a sheet of composite material can self-fold when an electrical current is passed through it. In 2011, researchers were able to get a polymer sheet to shelf-fold when exposed to light.
"Textile Reinforced Concrete (TRC) is an innovative composite material made from a concrete matrix and textile reinforcement by glass or carbon, which permits the production of extremely light and slender components. Beyond that the flexible reinforcement makes it possible to create free forms and geometries.", Institut für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen