Researchers are looking to insects – specifically cicadas – for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities.
Their wings allow cicadas to fly, of course, but they also are good at repelling water – a condition that humans can appreciate, too.
“Our work with cicadas is letting us explore a field called bioinspiration,” said Nenad Miljkovic, a University of Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor who co-led a new study of cicada wings. “We are learning as much as we can from the natural design of cicada wings to engineer artificial objects that are useful to humans.”
The study, published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, focused on the water-repelling ability of cicada wings. The research team of engineers and entomologists used high-speed microscopic photography to study the wings’ ability to repel water.
“The property that allows a surface to repel water is called hydrophobicity and it causes water to bead up and roll away,” Miljkovic said. “Superhydrophobicity is simply an extreme form of this property and cicada wings that have this feature have a rough nanotexture that creates open spaces around water droplets, allowing surface tension to force the droplets to jump off of the wings.”
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — How to start, manage, and fund a paid membership program
Wearables — Hand puppet glow up
Electronics — Print your PCB!
Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery
Python for Microcontrollers — CircuitPython measures up, and why CircuitPython is the future of digital making #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Physical Event Notifiers, Particle deprecates Particle Mesh and More!
Microsoft MakeCode — Through the Classroom Door with LEGO Line Follower!
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.