Researchers are studying texture-changing octopus skin to see if the military can use its camouflaging properties.
“This research stems from a challenge I posed to professors at Cornell [University in New York] along the lines of why can’t we have a dynamic skin for a wide range of applications,” Samuel Stanton, a program manager with the Army Research Laboratory’s Army Research Office, told Army Times.
The professors were inspired by how an octopus can change the texture and color of its skin to blend in with its surroundings. Humans have this ability with goosebumps, but without the ability to control it like an octopus can.
This new silicone- and mesh-based material can inflate and deflate into various shapes.
Stanton said the team realized they could engineer a more sophisticated way of controlling the growth of textual variation that’s more advanced than just blowing up a balloon.