Thanks, bob and Greg. When I read about this type of biomimicry in engineering designs, I often imagine engineers working in this area as spending time just looking at various critters and noticing how they're put together, how their subsystems and materials work, and then imagining what can be learned from those observations. From what I've been told, this is how some of these new materials and robot designs are inspired.
Nice article. I continue to be amazed at how living organisms in nature solve the same problem in so many different ways and with so many different techniques. Examples in nature continue to inspire us to think about solving problems using 'new', innovative methods.
Sometimes we get so busy we can't spend an hour or ten just watching mother nature do her stuff. Snorkeling serenely above a coral reef watching the great variety of animals often brings to mind questions and then presents answers. The sharks are there to keep you from becoming too complacent. It's good to read stories like this. Nice work!
I agree, isn't this one fun? I think the materials engineers tend to look not at a particular animal, per se, for inspiration but more at materials and systems of materials, observing them and wondering how they work. In this case, the lead investigators had already checked out fish, alligators and armadillos. The latter two certainly seem like obvious candidates for flexible armor.
It truly amazes me sometimes where researchers are finding inspiration for robots these days. I would never think of a seahorse, as it's a somewhat obscure creature to begin with, as inspiring robotic design. But it makes great sense as presented in your article and the video, Ann. Thanks for staying on top of all these creature-inspired designs. I wonder what they will think of next!
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
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 discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.