Sarah Hovsepian is part of Michael Fox’s Winter Quarter Catalyst City Mars Colonization studio at Cal Poly. Students were encouraged to look to nature as the inspiration for their designs. Incomp-U uses a designed module that can utilized for mining materials on mars and draws inspiration from bone and cell growth.
The project is designed to assemble and disassemble on its own as shown from the above diagram. Hovsepian had the following to say about how her project relates to bone growth: “bones begin by growing and stretching in length at the growth plate. The interior has osteoblasts and osteoclasts which build up the cell, and then dissolves itself continuously until it reaches the end of its growth cycle. As the cells build up, those pushed to the exterior automatically become a rigid framework which is eventually broken off and recycled at the end of its growth cycle. In my system, I’m looking at creating components which are both smart and some relatively smart, where mechanisms can be shared by different modules for efficiency purposes, as well as exploring how units can assemble themselves and break away once a cycle has completed, to begin the next phase of configuring into the final shape. The module has the recipe to not only self replicate but to also self-reconfigure.”