How Ladybugs unfold their Origami-Wings

Wissenschaftler haben sich die Entfaltung von Marienkäfer-Flügeln unter'm Elektronenmikroskop und in Ultra-SloMo angesehen und festgestellt, dass die Tiere einen simplen, Origami-ähnlichen Falt-Mechanismus benutzen, der sich wohl auf tausendzehn Anwendungsgebiete übertragen lässt („excellent deployable structure“). Ladybugs are awesome!

NYTimes: Ladybugs Pack Wings and Engineering Secrets in Tidy Origami Packages

scientists in Japan created a window into the process in a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Just how the ladybug manages to cram these rigid structures into tiny spaces is a valuable lesson for engineers designing deployable structures like umbrellas and satellites.

A ladybug’s hind wings are sturdy enough to keep it in the air for up to two hours and enable it to reach speeds up to 37 miles an hour and altitudes as high as three vertically stacked Empire State Buildings. Yet they fold away with ease. These seemingly contradictory attributes perplexed Kazuya Saito, an aerospace engineer at the University of Tokyo and the lead author of the study.

Working on creating deployable structures like large sails and solar power systems for spacecrafts, he turned to the ladybug for design inspiration.

“Ladybugs seem to be better at flying than other beetles because they repeat takeoff and landing many times in a day,” he wrote in an email message. “I thought their wing should have excellent transformation system.”

Paper: Investigation of hindwing folding in ladybird beetles by artificial elytron transplantation and microcomputed tomography