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Helping Penguins Take a Load Off

Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 at 1:52 PM

"Engineers at Northwestern University designed special boots to protect the feet of these well-dressed birds."

Helping Penguins Take a Load Off

PostedFriday, April 12, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Helping Penguins Take a Load Off

When workers at Chicago's famous Shedd Aquarium realized that their penguins were getting sore feet from the rocks around the pool, they decided to turn to engineers for help.  A partnership between the aquarium and the engineering department at Northwestern University gave first-year engineering students a chance to test their design skills and gave the penguins a little much-needed relief.  While students initially felt the project had little to do with engineering, they soon learned that this type of analysis and problem-solving is exactly what engineering is about. 

The students considered multiple constraints in designing the perfect penguin shoe.  It needed to be water-proof, inexpensive, easy to use, and comfortable without  impeding the birds' swimming ability.  See the video from NBC Nightly News to see how the penguin boots turned out.


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