Drying machines inspired by 'wet dog shake'

Drying machines inspired by 'wet dog shake'

The way a dog shakes itself to lose water fast, which helps their fur keep its insulating ability, could help engineers to come up with automated-cleaning techniques to use in devices that aren’t easy to clean like the insides of cameras or distant space rovers, a new study has claimed.


For the study, Georgia Tech researchers looked at the way wet dogs dry themselves and found that they can shake 70 per cent of the water off their fur in four seconds, thanks to their loose hanging skin.


The researchers used high-speed cameras to study the canines in motion and also found that key to a dog’s drying power while its backbone can only go 30 degrees in either direction, its loose skin can swing a full 90 degrees.


“The loose skin lets the dog whip much farther and faster to the left and the right. This results in three times the amplitude, three times the velocity and nine times the centrifugal force,” the New York Daily News quoted engineer David Hu as saying.
With fellow scientists Andrew Dickerson and Zachary Mills, Hu has now suggested that one of the main reasons dogs evolved to have loose skin was this role it plays in fast drying.


Since water-saturated fur suffers insulation loss, developing a method for drying off quickly proved evolutionarily advantageous.


After about four seconds, dogs stop shaking because the amount of water lost tapers off and the animals are attuned to getting the most dryness for the least amount of effort.
At the end of it, researchers think that there will be practical engineering applications for their work, for example, for optical devices, noted Hu, “like camera lenses or solar panels.”

In other words, instruments that need to stay clean and dry and are often in hard-to-reach places.

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