To Design A Safer Helmet, Company Takes Hints From Hedgehogs #Biomimicry
An Ohio company is taking hints from hedgehogs to design a safer football helmet, Via Jstor Daily
A company in Ohio, Hedgemon, has been watching hedgehogs fall off things—not for fun, but potentially for profit. By creating a “biomimetic” layer for football helmets that uses synthetic “quills” to absorb and distribute the shock of impact, Hedgemon hopes to play a role in reducing incidence of traumatic brain injury for players.
Textiles and sports equipment design have been rich areas for biomimetics: Silk, both natural and synthetic, has been key in developing lightweight fabrics of great strength, for uses from fashion to NASA equipment, and nylon, polyester, and Kevlar are all polymers produced by a process that mimics that of natural silk. Camouflage materials reproduce the visual environment in which they’re to be worn. The unique skin of sharks, with dermal dendrites formed from the same material as their teeth, inspired the design of swimsuits that gave such an advantage to the elite athletes wearing them that they were subsequently banned.
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