MIT Study: Futuristic Body Armor Should Be Like...Lobster Bellies?

lobster stock generic

(Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Want to make better armor? Consider the lobster, an MIT study suggests.

Ming Guo, d’Arbeloff Career Development Assistant Professor at MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, says he was having lobster with a lab visitor when their meal's chewy membrane sparked their curiosity, leading Guo and his colleagues to study its properties.

It turns out that membrane, which covers the lobster's joints and abdomen, is "about as strong as industrial rubber composites, such as those used to make car tires, garden hoses, and conveyor belts," MIT News reports.

“We think this work could motivate flexible armor design,” Guo told MIT News. “If you could make armor out of these types of materials, you could freely move your joints, and it would make you feel more comfortable.”

The membrane's combination of toughness and flexibility could be an inspiration, MIT researchers say, for creating an exoskeleton that allows the human wearing it to move with ease, yet is strong enough to protect them against a weapon.

Check back in with us tomorrow, when WBZ NewsRadio talks with an MIT professor about the study.

WBZ NewsRadio's own Carl Stevens wrote a poem about the knowledge armorers could gain from the crustaceans, which you can hear below.

Listen to Carl Stevens' poem (@carlwbz):

 

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