File - This image obtained August 19, 2014 courtesy of John Rogers/Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois shows an adaptive camouflage in operation. AFP PHOTO/JOHN ROGERS
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The octopus' ability to camouflage itself has inspired a new kind of thin, flexible fabric that can automatically match patterns, U.S. researchers have said.Creatures of the ocean known as cephalopods – including cuttlefish, squid and octopuses – are naturally equipped with sensors in their skin that help in some way to mimic the look of their surroundings.By closely studying how these soft-bodied swimmers do it, engineers and biologists joined in a nearly three-year-long U.S. Navy-funded research collaboration to create a material that acts in a similar way.The flexible material's layers include temperature-sensitive dye and photosensors that respond in one to two seconds to changing patterns.The international research team included chemistry and mechanics experts at leading Chinese institutions as well as Roger Hanlon, a top world expert on the physiology of cephalopod skin.
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