Real fish find robotic one attractive

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: June 8, 2012   View Article

When we all become mindless automatons following around a mechanical leader, we may look back on an innocent-sounding robotic fish experiment playing out today as the beginning of the end.

A team of U.S. and Italian researchers report they’ve successfully attracted individual and shoals of live zebrafish to cluster around a robot built to resemble a fertile female of their own kind, with biologically appealing stripes and coloring.

The feat is the latest milestone on a path to using autonomous robots in an open body of water to monitor and control fish behavior in order to protect them, according to the team.

Ten innovations inspired by nature

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: October 20, 2008   View Article

From gecko-inspired sticky tapes to shark-skin inspired swimsuits, nature has proven an effective muse for today’s innovators. Here are ten examples.

Moths Elude Spiders by Mimicking Them, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 14, 2007   View Article

The arrival of a jumping spider sends most moths into a flutter trying to escape the predator’s lethal pounce.

Not so for metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia. These moths stand their ground with hind wings flared and forewings held above the body at a slight angle.

Animals Inspire Next Generation of Body Armor

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 17, 2006   View Article

Animals’ natural defenses are providing inspiration for researchers developing the next generation of lighter, tougher body armor.

Benjamin Bruet, a graduate student in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, is part of a team funded by the U.S. military to create new materials to protect soldiers in the field.

Poison Frog Uses Less Toxic Look To Survive, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 8, 2006   View Article

Many animals avoid being eaten by copying the appearance of their poisonous neighbors. But when it comes to deciding whose looks to mimic, an Amazonian poison frog is teaching biologists a new lesson about this evolutionary trick.

Instead of copying its most poisonous and numerous neighbors, a nontoxic species of poison frog in Ecuador has been found to get better protection from predators by looking like a less abundant frog that packs a less toxic punch.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach