Insect Legs Help Researchers Who Aim to Help Airplane Designers


July 6, 2015

Insects are amazing creatures, a fact not lost on researchers who are investigating ways to mimic some species’ legs in an effort to strengthen airplane parts and hospital equipment. TechTimes reports the legs of many insects — including bees, cockroaches and locusts — are strong and durable enough to withstand amazing pressure day in and day out. So researchers at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, are studying insects with different lifestyles and legs shapes. For example, stick insects have legs with long ridges that keep their legs intact (although they do not prevent them from buckling). This information may be useful to designers of thin-walled, tubular items. They also noted bees can easily bend their legs, despite the presence of a “triangular mid-section with a wide, flat area” used to hold pollen. So it’s possible for designers to create items don’t have circular midsections yet remain strong. The next stage of the researcher’s study will focus on how “living insects respond to pressure.”



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