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.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
If there's one thing 3D printing's good for, it's customization. New Balance Athletic Shoe Company has begun using 3D printing to make customized spike plates for its running shoes made for members of its Team New Balance runners. They provide better traction and shave off a tiny bit of weight.
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