01. August 2005 · Comments Off on Oh Man, Oh Frickin’ Man. · Categories: General, Technology

I just saw a bit on Discovery about this Thomas Heatherwick designed roll-up footbridge at London’s Paddington Center. And, man, my brain has been kicked into overdrive. You have to understand: It’s few and far between that I see any truly seminal thinking in the world of mechanical structures. But this is one.

And now my brain is in overdrive: First; this structure would be better rolling up as a conch, rather than a disk. And, second, the structure should balance tensile strength against compressive (can you say prestressed?).

And then, what are the military applications? And what of incorporating carbon nanotubes? It boggles the mind. Can you imagine some human designed structure (with an M1A2 tank as insect), which emulates something you might see on the National Geographic Channel, or PBS’ Nature, where some plant deploys a rolled-up pistil, and then some insect lands on it, and walks out to the end?

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