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Cabbage White Butterfly Holds Secret to Better Solar Panels

Cabbage White Butterfly Holds Secret to Better Solar Panels | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Cabbage White butterfly may irritate gardeners with its unrelenting taste for brassicas but it may hold the key to making solar panels more efficient. A team of experts from the University of Exeter have shown that mimicking the v-shaped posture adopted by Cabbage Whites to heat up their flight muscles before take-off, can raise the amount of solar power by nearly 50 per cent. The secret appears to be the angle that the butterflies hold their wings, approximately 17 degrees from horizontal. It could even improve the effectiveness of sunbathing."

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Low-reflection Wings Make Butterflies Nearly Invisible

Low-reflection Wings Make Butterflies Nearly Invisible | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The effect is known from the smart phone: Sun is reflected by the display and hardly anything can be seen. In contrast to this, the glasswing butterfly hardly reflects any light in spite of its transparent wings. As a result, it is difficult for predatory birds to track the butterfly during the flight. Researchers of KIT under the direction of Hendrik Hölscher found that irregular nanostructures on the surface of the butterfly wing cause the low reflection. In theoretical experiments, they succeeded in reproducing the effect that opens up fascinating application options, e.g. for displays of mobile phones or laptops."

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Nature and Mathematics Join Forces to Cut the Cost of 3D Printing

Nature and Mathematics Join Forces to Cut the Cost of 3D Printing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Making curved shapes on a 3D printer often involves laying down support material which has to be cut away and disposed of at the end.

Printing the support material adds to the cost, slows the process down, generates waste and results in additional work to finish the component where the support has been cut away. The DPG team decided to investigate ways of developing self-supporting printed structures as part of a continuing project to design and develop a fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV. Designers used fractal mathematics, which generates repeating patterns, to create an intricate internal structure for the wing, resembling that of an insect, where repeating patterns of veins strengthen the wing, while allowing its surface to remain flexible."

 

Photo details: "Ischnura senegalensis October 2007" by Laitche. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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Biomimetics: the Nature as a Source of Inspiration for A350 XWB Design.

Biomimetics: the Nature as a Source of Inspiration for A350 XWB Design. | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"[...] In a macroscopic axis, the A350 XWB considers the actively deformation of the surfaces to provide the best aerodynamic performance and control of load for each flight conditions; takeoff, climb, cruise, approach, landing, maneuver, turbulence-encounters, etc. This is what birds, fish and marine mammals perform beautifully, called "morphing".  The idea is to move from a 'rigid' world to flexibility and adaptation technologies."
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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, July 10, 10:42 AM

The design evolution process never ends. There are some robust associations between features that guide the designs which live longer. 

 

In other words, the best design today will eventually be replaced by tomorrow's  best of "de jour".

 

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Tiny Muscles Help Bats Fine-tune Flight

Tiny Muscles Help Bats Fine-tune Flight | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Bats appear to use a network of hair-thin muscles in their wing skin to control the stiffness and shape of their wings as they fly, according to a new study. The finding provides new insight about the aerodynamic fine-tuning of membrane wings, both natural and man-made.
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Rise Of The Insect Drones

Rise Of The Insect Drones | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Nature spent millions of years perfecting flapping-wing flight. Now engineers can reproduce it with machines.
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How Insects’ Wings Help Engineers…

How Insects’ Wings Help Engineers… | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Insects are one of the most successful groups of animals…so what can we learn from them? Examining how insects' wings and legs wear out over time may help engineers as they search for ways to make safe, more durable types of material.

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Owls' Ability to Fly in Acoustic Stealth Provides Clues to Mitigating Conventional Aircraft Noise

Owls have the uncanny ability to fly silently, relying on specialized plumage to reduce noise so they can hunt in acoustic stealth. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, England, are studying the owl's wing structure to better understand how it mitigates noise so they can apply that information to the design of conventional aircraft.

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Albatross's Effortless Flight Decoded—May Influence Future Planes

Albatross's Effortless Flight Decoded—May Influence Future Planes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Aerospace engineers may have finally figured out how albatrosses go so far without flapping, and the findings could shape future planes.
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Wind Turbines With Owl Wings Could Silently Make Extra Energy

Wind Turbines With Owl Wings Could Silently Make Extra Energy | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Moving silently through the air is not just for the birds. Wind farms inspired by the stealthy flight of owls could generate more energy without annoying those who live nearby, say researchers."

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Really! Can Robots fly?

Really! Can Robots fly? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The new robot uses adaptive morphology inspired by the common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus, meaning that the wings have been actuated using a foldable skeleton mechanism covered with a soft fabric such that they can be used both as wings and as legs (whegs).
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Studying Owls to Improve Aircraft

Studying Owls to Improve Aircraft | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Many owls have the extraordinary ability to fly in almost complete silence. Could this adaptation have implications for the way we design aircraft?

 

Photo details: Snowy Owl, Saint Barthelemy, Near Montreal, Quebec. Copyright © 2010, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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Yves Bonis's curator insight, December 9, 2014 3:51 AM

Le vol silencieux des hiboux a déjà inspiré le Shinkansen - le "TGV" japonais. Il pourrait bien aider également l'aviation...

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Eagle's Wings Inspire More Fuel Efficient Planes

Eagle's Wings Inspire More Fuel Efficient Planes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] The wing tips of steppe eagles are an ideal shape to maximize lift with a minimal wingspan. The curvature at the end of the wing reduces drag. Engineers designing the A380 copied that design, resulting in fuel savings of up to 3%, depending on if it is a long or short distance flight."

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Butterfly Wings Inspire Better Sensors

Butterfly Wings Inspire Better Sensors | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Imitating nature is not a new idea. When the GE team put Morpho wings under a powerful microscope, they saw a layer of tiny scales just tens of micrometers across. In turn, each of the scales had arrays of ridges a few hundred nanometers wide. This complex structure absorbs and bends light and givesMorfo butterflies their trademark shimmering blue and green coat."

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 6, 2014 5:50 PM

Great ideas are often taken from nature! Check this one out!

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Airbus and Biomimicry: Nature Inspired Aviation

Airbus and Biomimicry: Nature Inspired Aviation | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"What do velvet, the skin of a shark, and advancements in aircraft aerodynamics have in common? The answer rests in a field of scientific study that involves examining what can be extracted, learned and duplicated from the natural world. Known as ‘biomimicry,” or biologically inspired engineering, this is the study and imitation of nature’s best ideas to help solve human challenges. A growing number of aeronautical innovations have been inspired by an array of natural structures, organs and materials – and these tried and tested patterns of the natural world will continue to be a powerful source of inspiration in the future." 

 

Photo details: Bald Eagle , Morris Valley Road, Harrison Mills, British ColumbiaCopyright © 2008, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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Robotic Bat Wing Mimics a 'Spectacular Flyer'

Robotic Bat Wing Mimics a 'Spectacular Flyer' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researcher Joseph Bahlman, a graduate student at Brown University, developed the robotic bat wing depicted in this video to help scientists better understand the workings of bat flight. "Bats are just really amazing, spectacular flyers," says Bahlman, a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. "Their wings are extremely dynamic, so much more dynamic than birds or insects. If you look at the wings of a bat, they're just like our hands, they have all these joints that let their wings adapt into lots of different shapes, giving them a tremendous range of aerodynamic forces and maneuverabilities. They fly much better than anything we've engineered. I would love to figure out how that works and then duplicate it."

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Butterfly-Wing Wafers to Clad Iridescent Buildings

Butterfly-Wing Wafers to Clad Iridescent Buildings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Now no one can say butterflies are all style and no substance. This might look like a pretty lily pad but it is actually a wafer created with lasers to mimic the iridescent colours of a butterfly's wings. For extra credit, Shu Yang at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who led the project, also made the wafer water-repellent - another property of butterflies' wings, which helps them fly through rain.

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