Monday, September 11, 2006

The Many Uses Of Spider Legs

Hey arachnophobes, there's finally a use for spiders besides just killing off other irritating pestoids!! Well, maybe I should rephrase that. There's finally a use for spider legs. Wait, one more rephrasing. There's finally a use for the design of spider legs. The way the spider's legs work, basically using a hydraulic system, that bends a joint by filling one part of it with fluid, rather than pulling with a muscle, is inspiring scientists with possible ways to adapt the system for human uses, such as lightweight, non-mechanical joints for miniature grippers to be used in space, or special fabric that can help people's posture. Clear? No? Well follow the link to an article by Lisa Zyga, at There's a nifty illustration to show you how a spider's leg joints work, as well as further explanation of the possible applications. I know, this probably doesn't make you any more "spider happy," and the mere mention of spiders in even now making some of you a little wiggy, but does it give you any joy to know that the dreaded spider has its useful side? Realistically, nothing I say is going to make you hate spiders any less, is it? Frankly, I knew that, so re-wiring arachnophobes wasn't really my goal, but I hope that maybe you will find the look at the wonderful world of spider legs, and their many useful functions, educational. So go to the article and learn something, to make this foray into the icky and unpleasant worth it.

Update: Oops, I just discovered that I left off the link to the article. Silly me. Here it is.

Hat tip: Sci Tech Daily