Fluid-based tentacles protect the body from a fall.
Inspiration from Nature
When an aphid (Acyrthosiphon Pisum) falls from a leaf, its appendages always land first allowing the insect to roll over safely.
Performances like freestyle running and urban parkour differ from other sports in terms of their training. One may simply gear up and start bating in baseball. There would be no threat to life during practice and professionals’ training sessions often imitate real game conditions. Gymnasts use safety equipment during their training. But parkour is learned out there in the street with no room for mistake. Surely, one starts out slow and performs all kinds of workout. But the actual site carries myriads of factors only available at the site. Adaptability and improvisation are seminal to parkour but a mistake can cost a life. Safety gear is needed for parkour performers, one which allows them to practice on tall builds and dense urban fabric with no fear. But it must not interfere with the performer’s ergonomics and flow.
A lot of animals have evolved strategies, both deliberate and reflex, to sustain a fall from a height. Much bio-mimetic research has been done on animals like cats. But this challenge asks for an additional system, sort of an appendage which does not interfere with the natural locomotion of organism. The solution is found in an insect known as pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon Pisum). Every time this little soldier falls from a leaf, its appendages reorient themselves mid-air so the insect falls on them. Appendages not only absorb the impact but roll the aphid over. This strategy is most suitable for free-stylers because it may eradicate their fear without having them to compromise on performance.
Technologies such as Robo-Mate Exoskeleton, Omni-Guard Airbag, Fall-protection Safety Suit, Shape-memory Alloys, Magnetorheological Fluids, and MagneRide Suspension provide valuable technical insight to the designing of this nature gadget. It is observed that conventional nut-n-bolt robotics create a bulk of equipment. The gear should carry memory fluid which can change its state from liquid to solid and back, in an instant.
Wearable tentacles (2-7) are filled with smart fluid which can change its physical state instantaneously. The gear can sense body movements and the built environment. It is able to read (14,15,16-19) geometries of the surrounding and differentiate between human flesh and built structures. It has a default state to which it spontaneously restores (1) which allows an uninterrupted, swift human movement. The tentacles become activated (25-28) only when the back of the human body approaches ground surface at dangerously high speed, or when the human body dropping from a great height, front-faced or side-faced can use some assistance in rolling over at the point of impact (like an aphid). Liquid-based exoskeletal tentacles change its state slow-enough to provide cushioning but fast-enough to restore promptly.
The following are some useful resources from the design process of this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: Closeup of Pea Aphid
Row1Column2: Dark Bands on Pea Aphid Antennae
Row1Column3: Robo-Mate Exoskeleton
Row1Column4: A Tenth of Weight Felt in Exoskeleton
Row2Column1: The Concept of Doctor Octopus
Row2Column2: Micro Robotic Tentacles for Handling Delicate Objects
Row2Column3: Omni-Guard Airbag Suit
Row2Column4: Fall-Protection Safety Suit
Row3Column1: Shape-Memory Alloys
Row3Column2: Magnetorheological Fluids
Row3Column3: MagneRide Suspension
Row3Column4: Calibration of Gyroscope in a Smart Phone
Row4Column1: Physics behind Levitron
Row4Column2: Lady Gaga’s Orbit Suit
Row4Column3: An Example of Body Harness Ergonomics
Row4Column4: Aeotrim (An Early Example of Gyrogym)
Created by Umair Zia