Sunday, August 12, 2012

Old Kayak, Bent Ribs & Buckliballs

In my previous post, I described how one of my kayaks spontaneously changed shape in response to a shrinking skin.  While this type of response would generally have been regarded as mechanical failure, researchers are now trying to steer this kind of phenomenon to make it perform useful tasks, that is by creating a variable shape that can adapt to conditions.

Buckliball changing from large to small (left to right) in response to external stress

Paraphrasing here - One stress makes you larger, one stress makes you small, and the stress that mother gives you don't do anything at all. Never mind.  Pause for groans to subside.
geodesic dome assembly
By the way, if you didn't grow up in the sixties, which is likely, you probably missed Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic domes and also buckyballs which he invented and which I suppose buckliballs is a pun on.

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