Chuck, sorry to disappoint you. It would have been a lot more dramatic, that's for sure. I'd guess that the reason a real piranha was not used in the experiment was most likely because of the danger and hassle involved with handling a real piranha. I wouldn't want to tangle with one of those, even if sedated.
In some ways, we look to nature because -- well, where else are you going to look. In recent years, however, I've seen there is a more deliberate look to nature for innovation. This is even true in the pharma industry. They're looking to nature for medicinal drugs. For one thing, drugs occurring in nature don't have to go through the same multi-year qualification process.
Current military body armor uses a kevlar layer and a ceramic plate to provide protection against high powered rifle bullets. The kevlar is a woven fabric built up in layers at angles. The ceramic plate is added to provide protection from rifle bullets. Seems like that part of the armor is already being used. The overlapping scale idea is interesting. This might hold promise for lighter, stronger armor.
Joel, it's actually both. The scales' flexibility is important for multiple reasons, according to the original study, which stated that the corrugated surface helps enable the flexibility of the outer layer of scales, which in turn leads to the difficulty of penetration by piranha teeth.
At the Design News webinar on June 27, learn all about aluminum extrusion: designing the right shape so it costs the least, is simplest to manufacture, and best fits the application's structural requirements.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.