:::: One-line Brief//
Balloons inflate into unpredictable forms.
:::: Inspiration from Nature//
Cephalopod (Cephalopoda) exhibits non-linear elasticity and the color of its skin changes with disproportionate flexion.
:::: Problem Statement//
A balloon is one of the most magnificent human inventions, perhaps next to a city. But what horrible crime balloon artists commit stretching, squeezing, and twisting the poor thing. A balloon comes with an innate element of surprise. But artists crush this little sensation with an overwhelming skill of balloon-bending. Sir Richard Buckminster Fuller said that there was nothing in a caterpillar that told us that it was going to become a butterfly. That is how a balloon should inflate too. If it is to take an animal form, it should surprise everyone- even itself.
:::: Nature Review//
Different skin systems were examined for their ability to tighten and stretch. The solution was found in the arterial walls of cephalopod (Cephalopoda). This magical material can demonstrate disproportionate flexibility. It has a non-linear elasticity so it can warp and inflate into any form. Furthermore, the chromatic behavior of the skin changes with flexion, showing us all the ingredients we need to make NatureGadget Surprise Balloons.
:::: Technology Review//
Please, see the links in the technology montage below for a list of stretchy materials. Patterning of tensile structures has already been achieved with the help of discrete element models using the Dynamic Relaxation Technique. Inkjet-printed stretchable IC’s and NOAA smart balloons offer an insight into the possible behaviors of the desired balloon.
:::: Nature Gadget//
Deflated balloons are similar to each other but when they are inflated, they take different forms and colors. This nature gadget is mass-produced- all units exactly the same in their form and color (12). When a balloon is inflated, however (2, 6), it takes the form of a surprise organism due to molecular-level encoding for disproportionate stretch and color (13- 16).
:::: Citation Montage//
The following technologies helped in designing the systems for this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: Closeup of a Cephalopod (Dynamic Skin Pattern)
Row1Column2: Cephalopod Form
Row1Column3: Cephalopod Skin Patterns
Row1Column4: Cephalopod Chromatic Behaviour
Row2Column1: Nautilus Draws Water into its Body with a Siphon
Row2Column2: Cephalopod Ink: Production, Chemistry, Functions and Applications
Row2Column3: Cephalopod Anatomy
Row2Column4: Mechanisms and Behavioural Functions of Structural Coloration in Cephalopods
Row3Column1: Cephalopod Ganglia
Row3Column3: Balloon Twisting
Row3Column4: Latex Balloons
Row4Column1: Five Types of Stretchy Materials
Row4Column2: Patterning of Tensile Fabric Structures with a Discrete Element Model Using Dynamic Relaxation
Row4Column3: Inkjet-printed Stretchable IC
Row4Column4: NOAA Smart Balloons
Created by Umair Zia