Artificial Camouflage Material Sheet Developed
According to Associated Press report, John Rogers, who heads the materials research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his team, has developed a material putting the essential elements that can now help Octopus (as well as the cuttlefish) to disguise into whatever environment they enter. The new research hopes that they can recreate that amazing ability in synthetic material.
Octopus (as well as the cuttlefish) has the astonishing ability to expand and contract their pigment cells located throughout their body. They can change the hue of their skin in order to better reflect its surroundings. Color and texture can be changed to look like rocks, sand or coral in the area.
The material comprises of stacked and very thin dye layers that are divided up into pixels. The black dye becomes transparent when heated at a specific temperature spike. Beneath that dye is a layer of reflective silver that appears white to the naked eye, and below that is an array of heating diodes. The pixels can change rapidly and adapt to new patterns easily.
A sheet of photo detectors runs throughout the material and when the light strikes a photodetector, it sends a signal to a connected diode, which begins to heat up, basically thinning the dye's duskiness. In this way, the pixels can match the pattern of light hues that they are being exposed to. However, camouflage sheet is only able to change from black to white right.
John Rogers said, "It's nothing close to being ready to deploy, in a military setting or anything else. It's really a beginning point, to focus on the engineering science around how you might create systems that have this type of function".
The technology can also help in creating visual displays that have more color and optical options than today's screens and monitors.
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