Nature is the perfect playground for life, offering unlimited possibilities of progress, considering we use everything it has to offer for a visionary and efficient goal. The inner workings of nature and wildlife have given scientists and nature aficionados a great chance to discover underlying life mysteries that unfolded in revelations and revolutionary findings, helping out evolution.
Researchers are now focusing on the fascinating particularities of the seahorse and are putting it under scrutiny to define a future robotic model that could help manage crisis situations and improve medical conditions.
Seahorses have a square tail, which is a very unusual feature coming from a highly atypical animal. Scientists have conducted large studies and analysis to explain how the sea animal got its particular feature. After extended experiments with plastic 3D printed tails that imitated the exclusive characteristics of the seahorse’s tail, researchers have discovered that its 36 square segments limb can provide a great grip on seaweed and corals. Furthermore, the squared tail is stronger and more robust than the rounded tails of other creatures.
Tails of seahorses are shaped up by overlapping segments, which made the scientists speculate on the benefits they might offer in advanced technology.
“When living organisms deviate from the norm, there’s usually a good biomechanical reason: a clue to some specific problem that needs to be solved”, a researcher from Wake Forest University in North Carolina declared.
The findings related to the specific features of the seahorse’s tail will be translated into robotic technology and will help in building medical devices that one day will own the capacity of moving around organs and bones with the strength needed to accomplish a surgical operation. The medical devices will be defined by extreme flexibility and endurance altogether.
The square architecture of a seahorse’s tail offers accurate dexterity and high resistance to predators while at the same time can naturally snap back into its initial place once it’s been twisted and deformed.
It can also be crushed, because it has the capacity to regenerate itself as the bony plates tend to slide past one another, acting as an energy-absorbing mechanism which in real life situations could protect the spinal column from fatal damage.
The seahorse is naturally designed to be able to face attacks with the help of its perfectly shaped tail built with square segments that can quickly reshape, pleat, adapt and regenerate.
Seahorses managed to offer the perfect answer for scientists that have been working to improve soft robotics for many years, but some of the mechanisms they envision are still weak and easy to break. They needed to find flexible rather than rigid elements, to allow the type of tversatility, adaptability and responsiveness we see in human beings. The seahorse’s tail could inspire future robots, strong enough to manage difficult situations but delicate and versatile enough to penetrate fragile places.
Image Source: inhabitat.com