Neri Oxman, the director of the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab, designs skins and body armors inspired by human tissue. "Most patterns in nature—whether scales or spiderwebs—have some kind of logic that can be computationally modeled," she says.
A common example is known as a reaction-diffusion (RD) system. As chemicals form our skin pigments, the force of their reactions shapes how pigments get distributed. To build some of her armors, Oxman works with her colleague Craig Carter to formulate equations based on RD systems. With these equations Oxman creates bitmaps, which determine the location and amount of her composite materials (called photopolymers). She then feeds these bitmaps into a printer to construct functionally graded materials (FGMs). An FGM is the opposite of most man-made materials, which are homogeneous—concrete pillars, for example.
By constructing her armor in 16-micron chunks, layer by layer, Oxman's creations are as multipurpose as our pores. "Our skin is structured not unlike FGMs: On our face our pores are large, for filtering, while our back pores are small, to form a more protective barrier." A collection of her RD-based wearable skins and armors, more a demonstration of a new technique than functional protective plates, goes on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris this month.
It is bizarre looking armor. I wonder how it protects, since the article really does not elaborate. Does it keep hands from getting dirty, does it protect from electricity, does protect you from bullets, etc.? I wonder if it breaths and is cool to wear or causes the person to be hot?
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
Emulates nature for stronger skin, that a good summary? would like more application base, or companies vying for the research to use in xyz. Is it polymers, light metals, composite etc
A similar technique with bitmaps is used with 3D programs like "Maya" to create textures.
Using the human skin patterns is an effective demonstration. I'd like to see some ideas for custom patterns.
This has some potential.
@ Space; It allows you to rip out people's souls. Around which activity you can build a religion that will purify the faithful for their eventual triumphant crossing into Underverse.