One day, Alexis Noel, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, watched a cat lick a thick blanket and immediately get its tongue stuck.
“When I was done laughing at this curious cat, the scientist in me began to question how a soft, wet tissue could stick to something so easily,” Noel said. “After a few seconds of struggle, he figured out that he could detach his tongue by simply pushing his tongue into the blanket rather than pulling, de-hooking the blanket loops.”
That got Alexis curious how to a cat’s tongue works with curved spines that resemble cat claws. While this research may seem trivial, it can help robots grab on to items. By studying a cat’s tongue, scientists may also be abler to advance the science of robotics.