For the Soft Robots and Other Engineered softness class our instructor asked us to think of something soft in nature that we find interesting and which we wish were used in engineering.
The weather has been pretty cold and I often find myself wondering if there are better ways we can insulate and keep our layers moisture free. Fascinated with bird feathers, I chose penguin feathers because they manage to stay warm and dry in very cold and wet climates.
Perhaps there is a way to incorporate penguin feather technology into our apparel. A water-repellent top layer with warm down under-layer. What's great about the modular feather structures is that they allow for unfettered movement, unlike our confining, T-shape, bulky coats like this one. I like the idea of heated jackets with batteries, but if the material was feathers, would be even need to reply on batteries and risk that they run out?