Octopus and Squid possess the ability of blending into the surrounding, something which interests the researchers who have tried to reverse engineer the methodology by trying to mimic this form of camouflage.
The research team has perfected flexible sheets of light sensors which contains a heat sensitive dye which in a sense can sense and adapt to the color of the surroundings. There are immense possibilities for this technology in industry as well as military application. The details of the research were published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Octopuses and Squids are soft body creatures of the Cephalopod group which has animals who have bilaterally symmetrical bodies along with a large head and tentacles. The skin of these creatures contains pigments which can help them to change the color of their skin to blend into the surroundings, an essential tool which aids them in hunting their prey.
The study which was conducted by researchers from the University of Houston and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created cephalopod-inspired materials that can sense and move in order to blend in with their surroundings. The researchers have developed flexible sheets which contains color changing elements which is placed over a white reflective surface with moving devices and light sensors. The color changing section contains dyes which change from opaque to colorless in response to temperatures above 117 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a nutshell, it is Science mimicking nature. The color changing part of the sheet acts just like the ‘chromatophores’ which are the tiny pigment-containing and light-reflecting organs in cephalopods. The reflective background is similar to leucophores which are the white chromatophores found in some cephalopod species.
The sheet could adapt to the changing patterns of the light in a couple of seconds. The researchers were able to create an array of black and white patterns including alphabets.