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NC State intellects design twistable, shape-shifting antennas

Darren Murph

NC State may be well on its way to yet another underwhelming season on the hardwood, but it seems as if a few of its most spirited boffins aren't even taking any time off to celebrate the season-ending victory over the hated Heels on the team's final football game. Dr. Michael Dickey and team have just published their latest invention, and if this thing ever reaches commercial status, you can expect ordinary objects to become a lot more intelligent. The crew's shape-shifting, twistable antenna overcomes the common limitation of copper-based alternatives by relying on an alloy that can be "bent, stretched, cut and twisted" while still transmitting or receiving a signal. Aside from enabling concept phones like the Ondo to become real, the development could also allow for stretchable antennas to be integrated into actual structures, giving buildings and bridges a way to communicate stresses to architects. Too bad it can't communicate the crumbling of an athletics program to an oblivious AD, but hey, there's always room for improvement in version 2.0.

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