Engineers at MIT, along with computer scientists at Columbia University, have developed a method that predicts the pattern of coils and tangles that a cable may form when deployed onto a rigid surface. (Learn more about the method: http://bit.ly/1BDn5sh)
The research combined laboratory experiments with custom-designed cables, computer-graphics technology used to animate hair in movies, and theoretical analyses.
Video: Melanie Gonick, MIT News
Coiling experiment videos: Jawed, Da, Grinspun & Reis
Animated hair simulation: Weta Digital