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!
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
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