Cat’s Claw – Safety Thumbtack

cat_paw cat_pinsMany of us remember the misfortune of stepping on a thumbtack, sitting on a tack (!), or reaching into a box of thumbtacks and getting pricked. New York design engineer Toshi Fukaya has now found a simple solution to the painful problem.


Technical application:

spike, tires, grip applications, climbing, grippers

Bionic application:


Further description:

Toshi noticed how his pet cat used retractable claws. The sharp claws are kept safely withdrawn until needed for defense or stretching. Inspired by the cat’s paw, Toshi designed a retractable thumbtack.The entire thumbtack is placed inside a flexible clear capsule made of soft silicon. When pushed against a hard surface, half the capsule collapses and exposes the pin. When pulled back out, the sharp point is again encased within the capsule. One can safely pick up a handful of the new thumbtacks without danger of a pin prick.
The new safety thumbtack was a 2011 winner in the Red Dot Design Concept competition. However, credit should first be given to the Creator for designing the cat’s paw in the first place.

Physical effects applied:






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