Biomimicry
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Chameleon's Tongue Gives Up Secrets

Chameleon's Tongue Gives Up Secrets | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have built a mathematical model to explain the secrets of the chameleon's extraordinary tongue. It took more than 20 equations to capture mathematically how the reptile's tongue unravels at very high speed to snare insects. The model explains the mechanics of the animal's tongue and the inherent energy build-up and rapid release. British researchers say the insights will be useful in biomimetics - copying from nature in engineering and design."

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Chameleon-like Material Changes Color On Demand

Chameleon-like Material Changes Color On Demand | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley announced today that they have developed an ultra-thin material that can change color on demand by bouncing back light on the nanoscale level. Well, the on-demand element is a little more nuanced. The “chameleon skin” material actually changes color when flexed, or when a small amount of force is applied to the surface."

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A Robotic "Hand" Based on the Chameleon's Tongue

A Robotic "Hand" Based on the Chameleon's Tongue | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Mechanical robot grippers are designed to grasp specific shapes. This is perfect for assembly lines, where every object is the same. But what if a more flexible solution were required? Think of a conveyor belt covered with random junk that needed to be sorted for recycling:

Imagine a robot hand that needs to pick up a can, a glass dish, a plastic bottle cap, a paper clip, et cetera, all on the fly.

 

Enter the FlexShapeGripper, which eschews metal claws for a silicone bag filled with fluid [...] Fascinatingly, the FlexShapeGripper was inspired by a lizard: the chameleon is able to catch a variety of different insects by putting its tongue over the respective prey and securely enclosing it. The FlexShapeGripper uses this principle to grip the widest range of objects in a form-fitting manner. Using its elastic silicone cap, it can even pick up several objects in a single gripping process and put them down together, without the need for a manual conversion." 

Miguel Prazeres's insight:

Check out the accompanying video.

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'Chameleon' Crystals Could Camouflage Clothing and Cars

'Chameleon' Crystals Could Camouflage Clothing and Cars | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"Just as a chameleon can instantly morph its skin color to match its surroundings, a new method of controlling crystals using light and chemistry could make clothing or cars change color on demand. The method involves shining a laser on tiny latex particles to make them assume a 3-D crystalline shape or pattern, such as a letter M. When the laser is switched on or off, the crystals appear or disappear."
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