MIT: Speaking with Spiders Could Improve 3D Printers and Materials
AnonymousMemberApril 30, 2021 at 8:20 AM
A group of MIT scientists reported that they could transform spider’s silk threads into musical instruments. The long-standing experiment involves an innovative method that uses data sonification to convert 3D scans of the complex geometries of spider webs into music. Ultimately, the experts hope to communicate with spiders using artificial intelligence (AI) – much like a speech synthesis interface – learning the “words” generated by the spiders and using them as signals to speak with them. The work also shows great potential for translation applications, ranging from smarter 3D printers to self-repairing biomaterials, cross-species communication, and otherworldly musical compositions.
Led by McAfee Professor of Engineering Markus Buehler, a team of researchers at MIT’s Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM) are studying the tangled 3D cobwebs of various spider species, focusing on the development of a new paradigm to enable the design, synthesis, and manufacturing of materials and structures from the molecular scale. Through a combination of microscale 3D printing, computational modeling, and experimental synthesis, the team is uncovering the “webmasters’ secrets,” as they like to call it.
According to Buehler, spider webs are intricate material systems that feature hierarchical structures that range from the chemistry
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