Newsletter 51

Starting Simply

What do frugal designs, origami, gestures and jellyfish cyborgs have in common? A simple starting point. Origami can literally start with a blank sheet of paper. Engineering inspired by biology tends to have a straightforward initial concept. Robots are generally complex but jellyfish sure aren’t. Gestures can be clear and subtle. So as not to complicate things, I’ll say no more. Happy Reading.

Frugal Engineering Can Address Tomorrow's Challenges

Frugal Engineering Can Address Tomorrow's Challenges

"The goal should be maximum effectiveness of the innovation as opposed to maximum efficiency." Frugality is defined here around optimizing capital resources, so biology is often an inspiration. Imagine keeping your vegetables cool in a pot designed to act like human skin.

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ASME, April 2024


Bridge in a Box: Unlocking Origami's Power to Produce Load-Bearing Structures

Bridge in a Box: Unlocking Origami's Power to Produce Load-Bearing Structures

Origami can still be used to make paper swans, but it is now also the basis for emergency and remote construction infrastructure. The benefits are light weight and modularity. The research is in load bearing ability. The playtime is making table decorations.

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TechXplore, March 2024


Unexpected Ways That Gestures Can Up Your Leadership Communication

Unexpected Ways That Gestures Can Up Your Leadership Communication

No, not those gestures. Our body language can, however, affect our self-perception and our organization of thoughts as well as directing how our message is received by others. The jury is still out on the effects of emojis on leadership though.

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Smart Brief, April 2024


Caltech Engineers Create Cyborg Jellyfish for Deep Water Data Collection

Caltech Engineers Create Cyborg Jellyfish for Deep Water Data Collection

"What if humans could have jellyfish explore the oceans on our behalf, reporting back what they find?" They gave each jellyfish a hat and a pacemaker in order to do the bidding of their new overlords. This is a boon for any science fiction writer who wants to plumb the depths of cyborg stories.

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IMechE News, February 2024