Plants That Can Inspire New Adaptive Structures

Topics: Cell wall, Plant, Pennsylvania State University Pages: 1 (275 words) Published: February 27, 2011
Plants That Can Move Inspire New Adaptive Structures Summary:
Researchers at the University of Michigan and Penn State University have been studying a species of shape-changing plant that they believe can help them develop a new breed of structures that can twist, turn, bend, stiffen, and otherwise adapt to their environments. The Mimosa plant, which folds its leaves on contact through a phenomenon known as “nastic” motions, could result in robots that could maneuver through tight spaces and then change their shape to grab hold of something or airplane wings that can alter their shape similar to the way birds do. Their findings were presented this past weekend at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting at Washington DC."This and several other characteristics of plant cells and cell walls have inspired us to initiate ideas that could concurrently realize

It’s amazing how a simple biological feature of a plant that has probably been there for hundreds of years can inspire a new technology and structure that might be able to help us on this planet for many years to come. The complexity of his discovery is still unknown due to the fact that it’s still not mature enough to actually be applied. This doesn’t change the fact that “nastic motions” can lead to technology advancements we were not expecting, such as having an airplane wing altering its shape to adapt to the air currents. I am very thrilled to see what this can lead to in the upcoming years
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