from the wrap-around-heads-as-weapons dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers have discovered that ordinary cellulose is a piezoelectric and smart material that can flap when exposed to an electric field. ScienceNOW reports that electricity can give life to cellophane. When you put a very thin layer of gold on each side of cellophane, and that you apply electric current to the gold layers, one positive, one negative, the cellophane curved toward the positive side. If you switch the voltage fast enough, the cellophane starts to act as a wing. So it should be possible to use it to build lightweight flying robots carrying cameras, microphones or sensors for surveillance missions. Read more for additional references and pictures about this electroactive paper (EAPap)."
"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity
is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth.
-- Alfred North Whitehead