Shapeshifters and Robo-sidekicks – IMPRESSO #24

In this edition: harping in the fog, shapeshifting materials, and robotic sidekicks for our heroes fighting the pandemic.


Let’s go harping in the fog!

Do you enjoy listening to the harp? I do! But did you know there is also a harp for harvesting water in the fog? The idea behind it is as simple as it is potentially life-saving. In areas where water is scarce, but fog is common, usable water can sustainably be extracted from that fog! Virginia Tech scientists paired biomimetic design with mechanical engineering. The result is a ‘fog harp’ that harvests a lot more water than you would expect – even from a light fog. Read more or read the scientific paper

Shapeshifting bridges and implants

What’s the result of being inspired by coral reefs and human bones? Shapeshifting bridges! Say what?! Corals, and bones alike, adjust mineral deposits to their surrounding environments. Scientists from Johns Hopkins developed a bioinspired material with adaptable characteristics too. It can change its stiffness in response to the applied pressure and reinforce damaged areas. Pretty handy properties for bridges, for example, or implants for that matter – don’t you think?! Read more

ADAMMS vs. Corona 

Meet “Adamms” (Agile Dexterous Autonomous Mobile Manipulation System) – the robotic sidekick to the heroes fighting COVID-19. The robot with the fancy name was initially created to support humans with repetitive tasks. Now, facing the global pandemic, Adamms has learned to use UV light to disinfect public spaces safely, and hence reduce the spreading of the infection! Read more or watch the video (3:44)