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Cities in motion: how slime mould can redraw our rail and road maps

Cities in motion: how slime mould can redraw our rail and road maps | biomimicron | Scoop.it
Researchers use organism's search for food to work out efficient transport routes, divert around floods and even imitate rush hour
David Parr's insight:

A piece I wrote for the guardian on using slime mould to analyse transport networks.
Most interesting to me was the potential for development using some of slime mould less well known traits, such as it's aversion to toxic substances and even research suggesting it can predict periodic events! 

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INFOGRAPHIC: How it Works, the Solar Decathlon Microgrid

INFOGRAPHIC: How it Works, the Solar Decathlon Microgrid | biomimicron | Scoop.it

The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. 

The houses are built over a two year period on campuses across the world, and are then shipped to Irvine, California- the competition itself consists of 10 contests, one being on Energy Balance, measuring the net energy each house produces and consumes.

One of the most important aspect to this concept is the micro-grid solution — the connection between the houses and the local utility to provide excess solar energy to the grid.  Each team’s house is equipped with a bidirectional utility meter that enables power flow to and from the electrical utility and a net metering system to record energy consumption and PV energy production.

Here's how it works...


Via Lauren Moss
David Parr's insight:

Always wondered how this competition was organised. Pretty cool way of trying to set a benchmark for designs.

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Microsoft Uses Fault Detection And Diagnostics To Transform Facilities Management - Facilities Management Energy Efficiency Feature

Microsoft Uses Fault Detection And Diagnostics To Transform Facilities Management - Facilities Management Energy Efficiency Feature | biomimicron | Scoop.it
Facility management article relating to: microsoft,energy efficiency,facilities management,fault detection and diagnostics,darrell smith.
David Parr's insight:

Microsoft prove savings by creating a 'Information Blanket' to gather big data and put the logistics systems in place to use it effectively. Good BMS needs to be supported by good information, and it sounds like Microsoft, again, want to be the best.
Your move, Apple. 

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Twitter / newscientist: Bio-inspired speaker uses clear ...

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Pretty neat design, not bad range either for a small product!

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3D Printing of Liquid Metals at Room Temperature

Researchers at NC State have developed a way to print liquid metals into 3D structures at room temperature. The structures are stabilized by a thin oxide 'sk...
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5 Natural Air-Conditioning Designs Inspired by Nature

5 Natural Air-Conditioning Designs Inspired by Nature | biomimicron | Scoop.it

"With heat waves gripping much of the planet, electricity grid operators are sweating even more than their customers. Air-conditioning uses a tremendous amount of energy, but a new group of designers think they can solve the problem by mimicking Mother Nature's craftiness."

 

 


Via Miguel Prazeres
David Parr's insight:

Interesting ideas, though being inspired by tornadoes and hurricanes should be 'meteomimicry'. Also, I've always found bird's two phase lungs a more interesting model than their feet.

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David Parr's comment, July 9, 2013 6:35 AM
Interesting thing about birds is their two-phase lungs. I did the first steps of analysis on adapting that kind of system to a building scale heat exchanger last year.
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biomimicron

biomimicron | biomimicron | Scoop.it
The book of the mimicry of the living
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Biomimicry, sustainability, green design, science in the media and education. Conveyed with wit and pop-culture references.

 

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Science of Bioinspiration Is Spreading, But Lacks Commercial Teeth | Xconomy

Science of Bioinspiration Is Spreading, But Lacks Commercial Teeth | Xconomy | biomimicron | Scoop.it
Can innovators learn anything about sustainability from the minimalist lifestyle of a two-toed sloth? This question occurred to me Wednesday during the Fou
David Parr's insight:

Interesting to see an economic publication both acknowledge biomimicry, but also make the point that in order to be 'valued' it must be technical and able to prove benefit.

Good to see some hard figures on growth of the 'industry' too, and plans for expansion and public awareness of the process. That said, I'd love to know how they calculated that "By the year 2030, bioinspiration in the U.S. could account for $425 billion" or that it would account for 15% of industry sales in chemical manufacturing and account for an equal amount in materials".

And economists say bio-inspiration struggles with a reputation as a soft science.... 

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Looks good on paper

Looks good on paper | biomimicron | Scoop.it
DISGUISED as employees of a gas company, a team of policemen burst into a flat in Beijing on September 1st. Two suspects inside panicked and tossed a plastic bag...
David Parr's insight:

I've previously written about issues in the way that Academic Journals force Universities into producing research and not supporting teaching: http://wp.me/p2PbZq-5W ;
It's a source of constant curiosity how in this era of 'Big Data' and technological development that the inertia of the 'old ways' has created organsiational structures that can just be outright expolited by knowledgable individuals with more developed means of working.
Aaron Swartzs death at the start of the year and this recent discovery should have proved to Academic/Journal industry that they need to seriously re-evaluate thier process.

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A Bunch Of Young Geniuses Just Made A Corrupt Corporation Freak Out Big Time. Time For Round Two.

A Bunch Of Young Geniuses Just Made A Corrupt Corporation Freak Out Big Time. Time For Round Two. | biomimicron | Scoop.it
Some punk kids figured out how to cut some awful monolithic companies out of our lives. They are not amused.
David Parr's insight:

People power take on centralised power. A great move towards reclaiming what should at it's core be a democratic process anyway.

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Don't FRACK Our Future - Doreen's Story

Unconventional gas exploration is threatening Britain and Ireland. Licenses and planning applications have already been granted by the Government with little...
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If nothing else, it is a mistake to invest the vast reams of money and work on a marginally effcicent fossil fuel technology to prop up a decaying system.

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New NASA Base Shapes the Future of Green Building Technology

New NASA Base Shapes the Future of Green Building Technology | biomimicron | Scoop.it
The new NASA Sustainability Base was designed by William McDonough + Partners to embody the spirit of NASA while fostering collaboration, supporting health and well-being, and exceed the requirements of LEED® Platinum with systems that will...
David Parr's insight:

Interesting that McDonough was doing this, but there was little mention of Cradle-to-Cradle on the building.
Still, the focus on only using low level space lighting, and supplementing that with task lighting as and when is interesting, though obviously slightly more of a hassle for building users.
Nice to see some focus on the landscaping and retaining the surrounding trees too. Hoping to see some god post-monitoring work from NASA on this one too, especially if they want to use it as a 'show' building for private firms interested in the technology.

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Leaf-cutter Ants May Reveal Secrets to Creating Biofuels

Leaf-cutter Ants May Reveal Secrets to Creating Biofuels | biomimicron | Scoop.it
The ants use fungus gardens to break down leaves into food, a process that researchers say they could help them discover new enzymes and proteins useful for turning plant materials into energy.

Via Miguel Prazeres
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