Our functional prototype was based on the internal structure of porifera and utilized shape memory alloy or SMA wire to achieve actuation. The wire ran through a piece of flexible plastic onto which a series of specially designed fins were attached. The feet on the bottom of each fin allowed us to gain increased mechanical advantage from the movement in the shape memory alloy and create significant deformation in our prototype's outward facing surface.
In this exploration we looked at various forms of direct and indirect actuation of surfaces in an attempt to develop methods which would further magnify the movement we were drawing from the shape memory alloy. I speculated on some of our findings in the napkin sketches below.