Meet squid-bot, a camouflaging robot
The Pentagon-backed gadget is the latest type of a so-called soft machine, meaning silicone-based robots made from squidgy, translucent polymers. The prototype incorporates a thin sheet of special silicone with microscopic channels through which colored fluids are pumped so that the robot’s “skin” mimics the colors and patterns of the surrounding environment.
The way humpback whales have the ability to move effortlessly and eloquently throughout the ocean, performing feats of an acrobatic nature, despite their bulky fins has been a recent source of inspiration for German engineers wishing to improve helicopter flight.
The basic components of a modern helicopter are a rotor with airfoil-shaped blades, creating lift, directional control, and thrust, and the advancing blade, which spins faster than the rotor, in the same direction as the craft itself. However, a problem occurs between these two components, as the differences in speed make the likelihood for turbulence, vibration, and instability almost unavoidable, especially when the copter is operating in high speeds or turning, causing the retreating blade to lose lift and “stall”.
Specifically striking the engineers’ interests were the bumps on the fins of humpback whales, which are known to help with the whale’s lift and buoyancy. Curious if it could better modern helicopter designs, they applied a scaled down (6mm in diameter) version to a prototype helicopter’s rotor edges.
They noticed an immediate improvement, as stalling was delayed and the flights were smoother overall. More tests are to be done, they say, but these engineers are enthusiastic to file patents for the development.
I HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED WHAT THOSE BUMPS ARE FOR.
Festo - Inspired by nature. Follow this link to read about their Bionic work.
Air ray, it banks and loops incredably but the general stability of it does act like a balloon, perhaps it’s just the medium of travel it is in and can’t be helped. Either way it’s still a wonderful sight.
“The thorny devil, a tiny highly specialised lizard from the central Australian desert which lives entirely on ants has each scale enlarged and drawn out to a point in the centre. Few birds could relish such a thorny mouthful and to that extent, they must be a very effective defence, but the shape of the scales also serves another and most unusual function. Each is scored with very thin grooves radiating from the central peak. During cold nights, dew condenses on them and is drawn by capillary action along the grooves and eventually down to the tiny creature’s mouth.” (Attenborough 1979:164)
Essentially it is what it looks like. A helium balloon able to ‘swim’ through the air like a jellyfish. The official version: -
Luft ist das Element von AirJelly. Die ferngesteuerte Qualle AirJelly schwimmt nicht durch Wasser wie AquaJelly, sondern gleitet förmlich dank ihres zentralen elektrischen Antriebs und einer intelligenten, adaptiven Mechanik durch das Luftmeer. Denn AirJelly besteht aus einem mit Helium gefüllten Ballonett.
Als einzige Energiequelle dienen AirJelly zwei Lithium-Ionen-Polymer-Akkus, an die der zentrale elektrische Antrieb angeschlossen ist. Dieser überträgt die Kraft auf ein Kegelrad und anschließend nacheinander auf acht Stirnräder, die über Kurbeln die acht Tentakel der Qualle bewegen. Jedes Tentakel ist als Struktur mit dem Fin Ray Effect® ausgebildet. Der Antrieb eines Ballons durch eine peristaltische Bewegung ist bis jetzt in der Luftfahrtgeschichte nicht bekannt. AirJelly ist das erste Indoor-Flugobjekt mit peristaltischem Antrieb. Die Qualle bewegt sich dank dieses neuen Antriebskonzepts, ihres auf dem Rückstoßprinzip basierenden Antriebs, sanft durch die Luft.
This a new one to me but I relly like the idea. It’s has a biomimiced system which is a new topic I haven’t discussed in this blog yet. The problem: commercial swimming pools need a fair amount of cleaning from chemicals so as not to catch any dieseases from the water, the water in the pool also needs draining ever so often (I’m not entirely sure I don’t and never have owned my own swimming pool, but what my red eyes tell me from being in public ones is that something in there is trying to kill something if not my eyesight). In nature natural systems will clean the water, like the moment of the stream or passing through rocks that filter the water and plants that will consume the other things floating in the water. It will still need maintence because it is still a closed loop of water (we can’t all have our own still river rockpool in out backgardens).
“The device bears no resemblance to Mother Nature’s counterparts on oaks, maples and other green plants, which scientists have used as the model for their efforts to develop this new genre of solar cells. About the shape of a poker card but thinner, the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts, substances that accelerate chemical reactions that otherwise would not occur, or would run slowly. Placed in a single gallon of water in a bright sunlight, the device could produce enough electricity to supply a house in a developing country with electricity for a day.” ( Bernstein, M. Woods, M. 2011)
It does so by splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen. This is not the first example of photosynthesis being created before but it is the first practical one, before it was created using expensive metals that were fragile and unstable, created a decade ago by John Turner. It barely lasted a day. Nocera’s new leaf could operate continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity.
The reason for this new found performance is due to powerful new, inexpensive catalysts made of nickel and cobalt that can split water into components, hydrogen and oxygen, under simple conditions. Nocera’s leaf is about 10 times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf. He has said that he is working on improving that and can make it even more efficient.
“Nature is powered by photosynthesis, and I think that the future world will be powered by photosynthesis as well in the form of this artificial leaf,” said Nocera, a chemist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass