When the mission calls for it, the individual cobots can separate from the whole, and fly or swim to their targets. The version of Shapeshifter being tested right now is semi-autonomous, but if the idea comes to fruition, it will need to self-assemble autonomously, without waiting for individual instructions from Earth.
NIAC provides phased funding to advanced, visionary concepts, to take futuristic ideas and nurture them toward practicality. It would be part of a larger mission design that includes a mothership. The mothership would be on the surface and could serve as an energy source for Shapeshifter. The small cobots would likely be battery-powered, and would recharge themselves with an RTG carried on the mothership.
How to participate —. Sustainability is always in style. Our Environmental Resources Center is a comprehensive guide to employing all types of Circular Design principles—choices that consider full-lifecycle, holistic sustainability. We often put extra promotional weight behind projects with exemplary Environmental Commitments details. Shapeshift is simply an opportunity to put a special spotlight on inventive work with recycled materials. Ideas are renewable resources. Get inspiration from past projects that put Shapeshift thinking into practice.
Math fab Mathonwy and Gwydion transform flowers into a woman named Blodeuwedd , and when she betrays her husband Lleu Llaw Gyffes , who is transformed into an eagle, they transform her again, into an owl. Gilfaethwy committed rape with help from his brother Gwydion. Both were transformed into animals, for one year each. Gwydion was transformed into a stag, sow and wolf, and Gilfaethwy into a hind, boar and she-wolf. Each year, they had a child. Math turned the three young animals into boys. Gwion , having accidentally taken some of the wisdom potion that Ceridwen was brewing for her son, fled from her through a succession of changes that she answered with changes of her own, ending with his being eaten, a grain of corn, by her as a hen.
She became pregnant, and he was reborn in a new form, as Taliesin. Tales abound about the selkie , a seal that can remove its skin to make contact with humans for only a short amount of time before it must return to the sea. Clan MacColdrum of Uist 's foundation myths include a union between the founder of the clan and a shapeshifting selkie. Such stories surrounding these creatures are usually romantic tragedies.
Scottish mythology features shapeshifters, which allows the various creatures to trick, deceive, hunt, and kill humans. Water spirits such as the each-uisge , which inhabit lochs and waterways in Scotland, were said to appear as a horse or a young man.
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Tam Lin , a man captured by the Queen of the Fairies is changed into all manner of beasts before being rescued. He finally turned into a burning coal and was thrown into a well, whereupon he reappeared in his human form. The motif of capturing a person by holding him through all forms of transformation is a common thread in folktales.
Perhaps the best-known Irish myth is that of Aoife who turned her stepchildren, the Children of Lir , into swans to be rid of them.
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He can transform into many different, terrifying forms. Sadhbh , the wife of the famous hero Fionn mac Cumhaill , was changed into a deer by the druid Fer Doirich when she spurned his amorous interests. In the Lokasenna , Odin and Loki taunt each other with having taken the form of females and nursing offspring to which they had given birth.
A 13th-century Edda relates Loki taking the form of a mare to bear Odin's steed Sleipnir which was the fastest horse ever to exist, and also the form of a she-wolf to bear Fenrir. Svipdagr angered Odin , who turned him into a dragon.
Despite his monstrous appearance, his lover, the goddess Freyja , refused to leave his side. When the warrior Hadding found and slew Svipdagr, Freyja cursed him to be tormented by a tempest and shunned like the plague wherever he went. She also possessed a cloak of falcon feathers that allowed her to transform into a falcon, which Loki borrowed on occasion. The Volsunga saga contains many shapeshifting characters. Siggeir 's mother changed into a wolf to help torture his defeated brothers-in-law with slow and ignominious deaths.
The dwarf Andvari is described as being able to magically turn into a pike. Fafnir was originally a dwarf, a giant or even a human, depending on the exact myth, but in all variants he transformed into a dragon—a symbol of greed —while guarding his ill-gotten hoard. In Scandinavia , there existed, for example, the famous race of she-werewolves known with a name of Maras, women who took on the appearance of the night looking for huge half-human and half-wolf monsters.
If a female at midnight stretches the membrane which envelopes the foal when it is brought forth, between four sticks and creeps through it, naked, she will bear children without pain; but all the boys will be shamans , and all the girls Maras. The Nisse is sometimes said to be a shapeshifter. This trait also is attributed to Huldra.
Shapeshifters ~ Shimmers
She is the central character of the novel Mother of Kings by Poul Anderson ,  which considerably elaborates on her shapeshifting abilities. In Armenian mythology , shapeshifters include the Nhang , a serpentine river monster than can transform itself into a woman or seal, and will drown humans and then drink their blood; or the beneficial Shahapet , a guardian spirit that can appear either as a man or a snake.
Scriptures describe shapeshifting Rakshasa demons assuming animal forms to deceive humans. The Ramayana also includes the Vanara , a group of apelike humanoids who possessed supernatural powers and could change their shapes. In the Indian fable The Dog Bride from Folklore of the Santal Parganas by Cecil Henry Bompas , a buffalo herder falls in love with a dog that has the power to turn into a woman when she bathes.
Philippine mythology includes the Aswang , a vampiric monster capable of transforming into a bat, a large black dog, a black cat, a black boar or some other form in order to stalk humans at night. The folklore also mentions other beings such as the Kapre , the Tikbalang and the Engkanto , which change their appearances to woo beautiful maidens.
Also, talismans called " anting-anting " or " birtud " in the local dialect , can give their owners the ability to shapeshift. In one tale, Chonguita the Monkey Wife ,  a woman is turned into a monkey, only becoming human again if she can marry a handsome man. Tatar folklore includes Yuxa , a hundred-year-old snake that can transform itself into a beautiful young woman, and seeks to marry men in order to have children.
Chinese mythology contains many tales of animal shapeshifters, capable of taking on human form. The most common such shapeshifter is the huli jing , a fox spirit which usually appears as a beautiful young woman; most are dangerous, but some feature as the heroines of love stories. Madame White Snake is one such legend; a snake falls in love with a man, and the story recounts the trials that she and her husband faced. The fox, or kitsune is among the most commonly known, but other such creatures include the bakeneko , the mujina and the tanuki.
Korean mythology also contains a fox with the ability to shapeshift. Unlike its Chinese and Japanese counterparts, the kumiho is always malevolent. Usually its form is of a beautiful young woman; one tale recounts a man, a would-be seducer, revealed as a kumiho. In Somali mythology Qori ismaris "One who rubs himself with a stick" was a man who could transform himself into a " Hyena-man " by rubbing himself with a magic stick at nightfall and by repeating this process could return to his human state before dawn.
The Ligahoo or loup-garou is the shapeshifter of Trinidad and Tobago's folklore. This unique ability is believed to be handed down in some old creole families, and is usually associated with witch-doctors and practitioners of African magic. There is, however, more to the word "Nahuel" - it can also signify "a man who by sorcery has been transformed into a puma" or jaguar. Shapeshifting may be used as a plot device , such as when Puss in Boots in the fairy tales tricks the ogre into becoming a mouse to be eaten. Shapeshifting may also include symbolic significance, like the Beast's transformation in Beauty and the Beast indicates Belle's ability to accept him despite his appearance.
When a form is taken on involuntarily, the thematic effect can be one of confinement and restraint; the person is bound to the new form.
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In extreme cases, such as petrifaction , the character is entirely disabled. On the other hand, voluntary shapeshifting can be a means of escape and liberation. Even when the form is not undertaken to resemble a literal escape, the abilities specific to the form allow the character to act in a manner that was previously impossible.
Examples of this are in fairy tales. A prince who is forced into a bear's shape as in East of the Sun and West of the Moon is a prisoner, but a princess who takes on a bear's shape voluntarily to flee a situation as in The She-Bear escapes with her new shape. Le Guin depicts an animal form as slowly transforming the wizard's mind, so that the dolphin, bear or other creature forgets it was human, making it impossible to change back.
This makes an example for a voluntary shapeshifting becoming an imprisoning metamorphosis. Some are rare, such as Italo Calvino 's " The Canary Prince " is a Rapunzel variant in which shapeshifting is used to gain access to the tower. In many cases, imposed forms are punitive in nature. This may be a just punishment, the nature of the transformation matching the crime for which it occurs; in other cases, the form is unjustly imposed by an angry and powerful person.
In fairy tales, such transformations are usually temporary, but they commonly appear as the resolution of myths as in many of the Metamorphoses or produce origin myths. In many fairy tales and ballads , as in Child Ballad 44, The Twa Magicians or Farmer Weathersky , a magical chase occurs where the pursued endlessly takes on forms in an effort to shake off the pursuer, and the pursuer answers with shapeshifting, as, a dove is answered with a hawk, and a hare with a greyhound. The pursued may finally succeed in escape or the pursuer in capturing.
The Grimm Brothers fairy tale Foundling-Bird contains this as the bulk of the plot.