Although I talk about several different inspriations, two of the stories below focus is the elaborate jaw mechanism in sea urchins known as Aristotle's Lantern! A nice basic definition can be found at the Echinoid page on The Natural History Museum in London (here).
Aristotle's Lantern is this weird yellow piece in the picture below. These sit over the mouth opening and the "teeth" or jaws of the sea urchin emerge through the bottom..
This illustration gives you an idea of the orientation
ALL of the stories below are part of a field known as biomimicry!
Basically, taking the idea/engineering from ACTUAL biological structures that have demonstrated effectiveness and reverse-engineering them so that they can be used in industrial or other applications!! Urchins have been quite the inspriation of late! Here's a round up of some of the recent and more interesting ones!
1. Self Sharpening Blades/Knives!
Instead of "suction" as had been believed for decades, it turns out that urchin tube feet work on a chemical adhesive basis! In other words,, they STICK instead of SUCK! You can go through a brief summary of these details here.
These provide a lot of potential for marine adhesives if the means of adhesion can be understood and "reverse-engineered"!
Other posts in the "What good are echinoderms" series to be found HERE