HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Still catching up to Mother Nature
Elizabeth M   5/8/2014 5:49:47 AM
NO RATINGS
Ah yes, I am an East Coaster (well, close enough, the Philadelphia area) who spent summers at the Jersey Shore, so I know all about clams and things related, like clam digs and clam bakes. Didn't know the creatures were so good at digging, though, until now. You learn something new every day!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Still catching up to Mother Nature
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2014 11:22:56 AM
NO RATINGS
Liz, when I first saw the headlines about a robotic clam, I thought "And it does what that we need to emulate??". Maybe that's because I'm a Californian and we don't do clam digs here like New Englanders. In any case, glad I followed it up and I'm still amazed at that 35/1 ratio of their digging ability. And yes, I remember your mussel-inspired adhesive. It was a breath of fresh air after all those gecko feet emulations I'd been reading about.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Still catching up to Mother Nature
Elizabeth M   5/7/2014 5:49:07 AM
NO RATINGS
This is fascinating, Ann. As always, it's interesting to see where engineers and designers are getting their inspiration from in nature. It's often from an unlikely place (clams--who would've thunk it??), but always seems to be some capability that really adds value for a new application. This makes me think of an article I wrote about how the way mussels cling to rocks inspired MIT researchers to explore new adhesive materials: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=266841

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Still catching up to Mother Nature
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2014 11:34:25 AM
NO RATINGS
Interesting idea, Cabe. But I doubt it would be practical to adapt the technology to dry soils, since it's an underwater-based technique. The razor clam and the RoboClam infuse soil with large amounts of water to make it easier to dig through. Recreating those conditions on dry land would require huge amounts of water (like another practice I can think of), an ever-more precious and scarce resource. Digging through dry soil is just a tough job, and requires an expenditure of large amounts of resources.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Still catching up to Mother Nature
Cabe Atwell   5/5/2014 11:24:05 PM
NO RATINGS
It begs the question of using larger versions for on-land farming or for use in quarries. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Still catching up to Mother Nature
Ann R. Thryft   5/5/2014 12:03:07 PM
NO RATINGS
If I hadn't read the research team's paper, I would never have guessed how powerful a razor clam's digging mechanisms are (35x what it should be for its size, shape and strength). We're still imitating Mother Nature and not always surpassing her.





Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service