PacSci-Doku: “Drone Delivery”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab. The question in this edition is:

What may solve some of the problems with Amazon delivering packages by drones?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

E O o S T G K B C

Each row and column in the grid below has to have only one of each of these letters. Each of the 3 x 3 mini-squares in the 9 x 9 square also needs to have only one of each letter.

PacSci-Doku: Drone Delivery

Puzzle Difficulty=Easy

Answer

PacSci-Doku: Drone Delivery Answer

The Answer

What may solve some of the problems with Amazon delivering packages by drones?

The Answer – Geckobots

Geckos cling to vertical, smooth surfaces because of the unique ridges on their feet that have millions of hairs. Each hair has many split ends, which allows the gecko to use the van der Waals forces between molecules in the split ends to stick to the molecules in the smooth surface. Couple this capability with drone technology and you have a geckobot with the ability to deliver packages to almost any location – think of lunch from the local deli delivered to the window of a conference room on the 20th floor. More serious uses also become a possibility, such as delivering medical supplies to an injured climber on a rock face. See a geckobot in action in the video associate with this article at popsci.com.

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