33 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2021
    1. We believe that the simple design, fabrication, and operation of these color-changing soft machines make these systems accessible and potentially useful to many different scientific fields.

      The authors suggest that their devices can be used by other scientists to observe things such as how camouflage can affect predator/prey relationships. Because these devices are non-living things but have the same camouflaging capabilities of some living things, they can avoid using animals for testing and experiments; something that is unavoidable otherwise.

    2. The ability of color layers simultaneously to change color in the visible and the IR is a capability not used by organisms and not easily replicated by using other technologies: Animals are limited in their ability to control their temperature; soft machines fabricated in silicone elastomers are not.

      The authors show us here that their devices can camouflage in the visible light spectrum as well as the IR spectrum. This is something animals cannot do, and this shows that animals are limited in their camouflaging capabilities while their devices are not limited.

    3. Both designs created large, disjointed patches of contrasting brightness similar to the environment but not to the shape of the robot; this disjuncture in shape [disruptive coloration (3)] helped conceal the robot.

      This result sentence tells us that the robots have successfully camouflaged themselves because they have differences in brightness that mimicked the environment. Since the brightness patches did not outline the device structure, it blended right in.

    4. The weight and flexibility of the color layer did not substantially slow the robot’s locomotion (the velocity was 0.6 times the velocity of the same robot without the color layer)

      This results sentence shows that the robot's dexterity, or ability to move easily/freely, was not heavily affected by the addition of the color layer. To elaborate on their point, they show that the robot with the color layer was 0.6 times the robot without a color layer. In short, the robot with the color layer is only a bit slower than the robot without one.

    5. camouflage

      Wearing camouflage while hunting or as a fashion statement is common in most places around the globe. When one thinks about camouflage, the typical image that comes to mind is of camo uniforms in the military. However, some countries and territories ban the use and wearing of camouflage for a variety of reasons. One example of this is in the Philippines. Read more about this Philippian law here:


    6. Biologists studying camouflage/display could use specially designed soft machines to observe how dynamic color, temperature, and pattern influence animal behavior (such as predator/prey relationships)

      Animal testing within the science field is arguably one of the most controversial practices in science. In fact, there are many organizations established to enforce laws and policies involving animal testing and studies. Using inanimate robots like those in this article instead of live animals ensures that research will not face any controversy in the public eye. One prominent organization is the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Read about their mission and history here:


    7. spectrum

      The electromagnetic spectrum is actually regulated by the government. Many policies and laws are in place for safety and limited space reasons. The Radio Act of 1927 established the Federal Radio Commission, and the Communications Act of 1934 ("the Act", 47 U.S.C. § 51 et seq), established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). More on this can be found at:


    8. reagent

      This is a substance or compound added to a system to cause a chemical reaction, or added to test if a reaction occurs.

    9. thermal

      Something that relates to heat

    10. histograms

      This is an approximate representation of the distribution of numerical data

  2. Feb 2021
    1. chemiluminescence

      the emission of light during a chemical reaction which does not produce significant quantities of heat.

    2. reflectance spectroscopy

      Investigation of the spectral make-up of surface-reflected radiation with respect to its angularly dependent intensity and the composition of the incident primary radiation.

    3. locomotion

      An act or the power of moving from place to place.

    4. symmetrical

      made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.

    5. translucency

      Allowing light, but not detailed shapes, to pass through; semitransparent.

    6. Young’s modulus

      a measure of elasticity, equal to the ratio of the stress acting on a substance to the strain produced.

    7. spectral tailoring

      Essentially modifying and tweaking the colors and temperatures of the fluids based on the electromagnetic spectrum.

    8. pigment

      is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water.

    9. syringe

      a tube with a nozzle and piston or bulb for sucking in and ejecting liquid in a thin stream, used for cleaning wounds or body cavities, or fitted with a hollow needle for injecting or withdrawing fluids.

    10. electrofluidics

      Is a versatile principle that can be used for high speed actuation of liquid interfaces.

    11. microchannels

      Is a channel with a hydraulic (contains liquid) diameter below 1 mm.

    12. actuation

      the action of causing a machine or device to operate.

    13. Semiconductor

      A solid substance that has a conductivity between that of an insulator and that of most metals, either due to the addition of an impurity or because of temperature effects. One common semiconductor are silicon chips used in electronics.

    14. arthropods

      Organisms that have a segmented body and jointed appendages, a usually chitinous exoskeleton molted at intervals, and a brain connected to a spinal cord.

    15. ultraviolet (UV)

      Is a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelength from 10nm to 400 nm, shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays. UV radiation is present in sunlight, and constitutes about 10% of the total electromagnetic radiation output from the Sun.

    16. iridophores

      These are iridescent chromatophores, and chromatophores are cells that produce color, of which many types are pigment-containing cells, or groups of cells, found in a wide range of animals including amphibians, fish, reptiles, crustaceans and cephalopods.

    17. silhouette

      Is the image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single colour, usually black, with its edges matching the outline of the subject.

    18. obliterative

      To render invisible or unreadable, as by erasing or marking over

    19. The color of these microfluidic networks can be changed simultaneously in the visible and infrared—a capability that organisms do not have.

      The authors refer to the microfluidic networks they made within soft machines. They mention that these networks can be changed within both visible and infrared light at the same time, and that living organisms cannot do this.

    20. infrared

      A form of light that is slightly above our visible light spectrum. Since it is not within our visible light spectrum, it is invisible to the naked eye, but it still provides useful applications in nature and everyday life such as remote controls for your television.

    21. camouflage

      This is the use of any combination of materials, coloration, or illumination for concealment, either by making animals or objects hard to see, or disguising them as something else.

    22. soft polymers

      Materials belonging to this category include things made up by smaller units called monomers. However, this category contains many monomers arranged in a way that keeps the overall object flexible and non rigid.

    23. bioluminescence

      This is the production and emission of light by a living organism.