The mantis shrimp's club-like arms have a unique structure that makes them extremely strong, tough, and lightweight, which could be adapted to make better body armor for soldiers. (Source: Silke Baron)
Good point about creativity, Ann. Even the pharmaceutical industry is looking to nature for solutions. I attended a Chile Institute conference and there were pharma researchers attending. They were looking into the pain-killing qualities of the hot chemical in peppers.
Thanks for the positive feedback, folks. I was taught that creativity starts with, and is fed by, seeing things in unusual ways. I think that the engineers that look at a shrimp with incredibly strong clubby arms and come up with an idea for a new composite material are creative people who might solve a particular problem faster and cheaper than other methods. Nature has been at this an incredibly longer time than we have: about 3.5 billion years. I think reporting on biomimetics can provide inspiration for working engineers, whether they're designing materials or using them.
I agree Rob...Ann I too enjoy your articles. It is very interesting to read about how someone can look at something as simple as a shrimp, crab, snake or the like and develop unique and innovative things. That's a very interesting looking and colorful shrimp Ann I too enjoy your artilces. It is very interesting to read about how someone can look at something as simple as a shrimp, crab, snake or the like and develop unique and novative things.
Thanks. Yes that was the link. I'm used to "An article in Science recently....." being the link.
Was there anything about the mechanism to provide reactions for this rapid movement? When something is moving this fast and with this much power there has to be some way to provide support for the arms.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
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