WiFi router sticks to any surface without succumbing to changes in angle, texture, temperature and moisture etc.
Inspiration from Nature
Diodora Aspera can remain affixed to a surface which changes itself from dry and rough to slippery and wet.
A Wifi router connects networking devices through radio waves. Where speed, security and reliability of internet are linked with service provider, the device itself is tethered to two invisible strings namely, energy and distance (range). These two variables of a routing device largely effects its utility. The device is designed to be plugged into a socket and can be placed or hung in limited number of ways only. There is a need to end the dependency of this device on its electrical source and the surface on which it rests.
As for the source of energy, we could start by looking into renewable sources like sun. But this would require the gadget to be placed outside a building, which in turn begets new design challenges. Device would be exposed to all kinds of climatic variations such as humidity, wind, rain and diurnal range etc. Finding the most suitable wall, sill or texture for it to attach with, would be challenge.
Could there be an attachment mechanism which re-organizes itself to the changing conditions of the context. Nature has adopted a wide range of clinging and adhesive strategies. But one the most fitting strategies for the problem at hand is demonstrated by a keyhole limpet (Diodora Aspera). Limpet has evolved a dual-mode attachment system. It can remain affixed firmly to a surface which transforms itself from ‘dry and rough’ to ‘slippery and wet’. The secret power of limpet is its ability to shift the attachment method from adhesion to suction and vice versa.
Sticky balls provide a basic template to work with as a WiFi ball- an example of which has already been designed by Orbi. It is concluded however, that the nature gadget should combine the technologies of Grabit Soft Electrical Robot and molecular level Super Glue. Magnetic Balls (Nanodots) also offer an insight into potential metamorphic abilities of the gadget. And organic solar film technology could be integrated with dual-mode attachment system.
The nature gadget is an app-controlled spherical device which can be thrown at any surface. As soon as the device touches a surface, its sensors (1, 25, 52) track geometrical and textural qualities of the surface. The sensors (31, 33) reorganize its A. Form (49, 50, 57), B. Most Suitable Mode of Adhesion (45, 46) and C. Orientation (7, 9, 15) with respect to maximum direct and ambient light. Reserve energy is stored (34) for cloudy days or nights and its functions- both mechanical and network-related, can be controlled from cellular device.
Following are some useful resources from the design process of this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: Keyhole Limpet
Row1Column2: Keyhole Limpet
Row1Column3: Underside of Keyhole Limpet
Row1Column4: Rock-mounted Limpets
Row2Column1: Wall Mounting for TV
Row2Column2: Sticky Ball
Row2Column3: Wifi Signals Improvement
Row2Column4: Orbi Wifi Ball Concept
Row3Column1: Grabit Soft Electrical Robot
Row3Column2: Magnetic Balls (Nanodots)
Row3Column3: DFT-Optimized Molecular Structure
Row3Column4: Tripple Weave Sphere Print
Row4Column1: Super Hydrophobic and oleophobic Coating
Row4Column2: Molecular Level Super Glue
Row4Column3: Organic Solar Film
Row4Column4: Solar Ball