:::: One-line Brief//
A baseball swings away in all directions.
:::: Inspiration from Nature//
The blood cells of camel (Dromedary) become elongated when blood vessels constrict due to dehydration.
:::: Problem Statement//
Extreme sports have quickly become a global phenomenon. The question is, what should be the extreme version of baseball? One option is that we design a baseball bat that sends the ball several times farther than a regular bat when hit with the same swing. But let’s save this idea for another organism for now. The natural process under observation here calls for reenvisioning the ball. This nature gadget is a baseball that exhibits extreme response to air-friction- similar to the extreme response of the blood cells of a camel when they are subjected to the changes in the blood vessels.
:::: Nature Review//
To design a baseball that can fly and swing like nothing we have seen before, we need to understand the behavior of the fluid (air) through which it would travel. When the blood vessels of a camel constrict due to dehydration, its blood cells become elongated and oval in shape, which allows them to circulate through the body even through much tighter vessels. This principle must be mimicked for the ball to eliminate or control air-friction. The baseball should be able to increase its speed- and swing away midair- as intended by the pitcher.
:::: Technology Review//
The stated principle has been studied thoroughly in all ball sports. Gyroball, knuckleball, Adidas miCoach Smart Ball, and other smart ball systems, all contribute to the development of this extreme ball machine. A nature gadget baseball should be able to calculate the distance and trajectories midair and morph itself physically to boost up its speed or spin, and then absorb the impact of the bat without breaking the integrity of its systems.
:::: Nature Gadget//
A baseball is designed which can get elongated mid-air and become round again (14, 17, 18). It has a double-coded layer of synthetic leather that has the deformation capability at a molecular-level (11, 12), right over the classical alum-tanned full-grained cowhide (9). The surface of the leather is stretchable along with its dual-seamed stitches (2, 4, 6). The amount of deformation is controlled by the roll of the fingers (19) and its speed, by the force of the throw. The result is an extreme flight of the ball capable of swinging- without slowing- at an unprecedented rate.
The following technologies helped in designing the systems for this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: Closeup of Red Blood Cells of Camel
Row1Column2: Electron Microscopic Appearance of RBC’s of Camel
Row1Column3: Baseball Cross-section
Row1Column4: Physics of Baseball
Row2Column2: Why a Ball Curves
Row2Column3: Ideal Flow around Spinning Ball
Row2Column4: Pitching in Baseball (Trevor Bauer)
Row3Column1: Spinning the (Rugby) Ball
Row3Column2: Rugby Science
Row3Column3: Streamlined versus Round Wishbones
Row3Column4: Causes of Aerodynamic Drag
Row4Column1: Pressure on Curve of a Ball
Row4Column3: Adidas miCoach Smart Ball
Row4Column4: Smart Ball Systems
Created by Umair Zia