Shape-changing in nature and puny human efforts to emulate it

Scary Boots

Have you ever felt your technology was inferior to a pinecone? I'll discuss a few awesome feats achieved by natural materials, such as plants that launch their seeds ballistically, snapping venus flytraps, sea cucumbers which go solid when you pick them up, and bivalve muscles that just don't quit. Some underlying concepts from how these work will be drawn out and explained, and I'll highlight attempts to use these concepts synthetically, along with the tech behind them - a substantial amount of which uses 3D printing or related technology which is accessible at a hobbyist level. Finally, we'll wrap up with applications, challenges, and directions that I reckon attendees could definitely contribute to. Onward, to a shape-changing future!

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