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Bird-friendly Glass Makes UK Debut

Bird-friendly Glass Makes UK Debut | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Glass manufacturer looks to biomimicry for design inspiration. A lookout tower in Lindisfarne is the first UK building to use a new glazing designed to save the lives of birds. Each year millions of birds die by crashing into glazed buildings but Ornilux – a new glazing developed by German manufacturer Arnold Glas – is intended to make the lookout tower and visitor centre at Lindisfarne bird-friendly.

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Getting Lessons in Leadership From Hungry Fish

Getting Lessons in Leadership From Hungry Fish | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Scores of people take expensive management training to learn how to guide colleagues toward a common goal, but maybe they could get less costly lessons by watching how certain fish take the lead in their schools. After training about 90 golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas, seen above) to find a dish of fish food, scientists tagged these potential leaders, released them back in the tank individually with eight untrained fish, and then waited to see what would happen. In some cases, a veteran fish swam around as if it had never been in the tank before, leaving its schoolmates equally confused. Others made a beeline for the soggy fare and were more likely to reach it, but in their haste failed to communicate with fellow fish and left them in their wake. Most of the trained shiners, however, were effective leaders; just assertive enough to indicate which direction the school should travel but not so assertive that they lost the group and the protection it provided, the scientists report online before print in The American Naturalist. The study is the first to show experimentally that such a tradeoff—between achieving a goal as quickly as possible and keeping followers—exists in animals other than humans, possibly revealing some fundamental component of good leadership, the researchers say. So, the next time you need to get your colleagues to meet a deadline, why not give channeling your inner golden shiner a try?

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Researchers Use Multi-material 3D Printing to Fabricate the First Biomimetic Shark Skin

Researchers Use Multi-material 3D Printing to Fabricate the First Biomimetic Shark Skin | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have been trying to unlock the secrets of shark skin for more than 50 years. The key to sharks' hydrodynamic prowess lies in how the rigid, tooth-like structures that coat their flexible skin change the flow of water as sharks swim forward – but attempts to quantify this effect have fallen short. After all, it's tough to fabricate a material that closely mimics shark skin, a marvel of Nature honed over the 400 million years that sharks have sleuthed the seas."

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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, July 14, 3:03 PM

Mimicking is a great way of fast-forwarding the design process. It is a never ending process.

 

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Astonishing Water-sensitive Building Material Acts Just Like Pine Cones

Astonishing Water-sensitive Building Material Acts Just Like Pine Cones | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Royal College of Art design student Chao Chen has developed a revolutionary new building material that responds to the presence of water. After observing the hydro-sensitive behavior of pine cones, which open and close depending upon their exposure to water, Chen has developed a wood laminate material that similarly bends and flexes in response to atmospheric humidity, soil moisture or rain. Applications for the technology include shelters that seal up when it rains and building cladding that opens to let in more light on a dull, drizzly day but closes to block out heat when the weather is hot and dry."

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Snake Skin Inspired Surfaces Smash Records, Providing 40 Percent Friction Reduction

Snake Skin Inspired Surfaces Smash Records, Providing 40 Percent Friction Reduction | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Snake skin inspired surfaces smash records, providing an astonishing 40% friction reduction in tests of high performance materials. These new surfaces could improve the reliability of mechanical components in machines such as high performance cars and add grist to the mill of engineers designing a new generation of space exploration robots."

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Biomimicry Inspires Eco-friendly Performance Apparel

Biomimicry Inspires Eco-friendly Performance Apparel | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Designers of performance apparel are looking to nature for inspiration when developing their ranges - a process, known as "biomimicry. [...] Advocates of biomimicry point ot the fact that animals, insects, plants and other living organisms have survived and adapted in dynamic environments by evolving over billion of years, and many natural adaptations have proved to be more effective than manmade solutions.""

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Shape Means Strength, From a Boeing Dreamliner to a Bone Chair

Shape Means Strength, From a Boeing Dreamliner to a Bone Chair | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"If you ride in a car or plane today, you may be the unknowing beneficiary of planet-helping biomimetic design. Designers and engineers can reduce the size or weight of many vehicle parts for greater efficiency or cost savings. This shape optimization is a major task in engineering. Making things lighter, stronger and faster long has been a goal in manufacturing, but engineers are increasingly employing biologically inspired algorithms to design many objects around you. The better integration of three methods has fostered this still-growing tide of bio-inspired design objects: biologically inspired algorithms for analysis and shape iteration, computer aided design and additive manufacturing."

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Using Saharan Silver Ants as an Inspiration for Surface Cooling Coatings

Using Saharan Silver Ants as an Inspiration for Surface Cooling Coatings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Yu’s team is the first to demonstrate that the [Saharan silver] ants use a coat of uniquely shaped hairs to control electromagnetic waves over an extremely broad range from the solar spectrum (visible and near-infrared) to the thermal radiation spectrum (mid-infrared), and that different physical mechanisms are used in different spectral bands to realize the same biological function of reducing body temperature. [,,,] Their discovery that there is a biological solution to a thermoregulatory problem could lead to the development of novel flat optical components that exhibit optimal cooling." 

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Seashells to Deliver New Drugs and Vaccines

Seashells to Deliver New Drugs and Vaccines | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Mimicking nature, Australian scientists have developed a protective seashell-inspired capsule to preserve the active biological ingredients needed to create promising new drugs.
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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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NASA Is Considering The Use Of Soft Robotic Squids To Explore Europa

NASA Is Considering The Use Of Soft Robotic Squids To Explore Europa | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"NASA has chosen its next batch of proposals under its advanced concepts program, including the use of soft-robotic rovers for exploring gas-giant moons, and autonomous robots capable of crawling, hopping, and rolling around the surface of the Moon. [...] One of the more interesting proposals calls for a soft robotic squid/eel hybrid. The device would be equipped with a short antenna on its back to draw power from changing magnetic fields. The aquatic rover could be used to explore the subsurface oceans on Europa and Enceladus."

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CoCoRo Underwater Mini-Robots School Like Fish and Share Knowledge

CoCoRo Underwater Mini-Robots School Like Fish and Share Knowledge | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The European Union CoCoRo research consortium has been developing three varieties of autonomous underwater robots that school together like fish. By doing so, the little bots can share and learn from each others' "knowledge" of their environment, acting as a collective cognitive system.
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Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, June 11, 5:35 PM

*A partir de abril de 2011, la Unión Europea CoCoRo (Colectivo Cognitive Robots) consorcio de investigación ha desarrollado tres variedades de robots submarinos autónomos que hacen escuela juntos como peces. De esta manera, los pequeños robots pueden compartir y aprender de "conocimiento" cada otros de su entorno, actuando como un sistema cognitivo colectivo que es más inteligente que cualquiera de sus partes individuales.

Los robots se comunican entre sí a través de una función de intermitente LED, utilizando la electrónica de a bordo, como los sistemas de visión por ordenador, brújulas y acelerómetros para encontrar su camino alrededor de los ambientes acuáticos.

Utilizando un algoritmo inspirado en el comportamiento de la agrupación de las abejas (no pescados!), Pueden buscar a otros de su especie y luego asentarse juntos alrededor de una ubicación de la base central, tomando conciencia del  creciente tamaño de su grupo a medida que lleguen más robots. Entonces pueden dejar ese grupo para ir por sus propias misiones, posteriormente, volver a compartir sus hallazgos con el grupo.

En un experimento, grupos de dos tipos de los robots - "Jeff" robots y robots "Lirio" - se pusieron en una piscina para localizar un avión estrellado simulado (en realidad un grupo de imanes, que se utiliza para simular campo electro-magnético del avión) . Mientras que los robots Lily patrullaban la superficie, el Jeffs fue más profundo.

Una vez que uno de los robots Jeff situados los imanes, lo que solía sus LEDs para indicar la otra Jeffs, que respondió mediante la recopilación de alrededor de ella sobre el "restos". Los robots Lily observaron este comportamiento desde arriba, y respondieron formando un racimo en la superficie en la misma ubicación.

Los robots también se han probado en el océano abierto en Italia, donde, según informes, fueron capaces de agruparse y patrullar a pesar de las olas, las corrientes y el agua salada corrosiva.

Aunque el proyecto CoCoRo concluyó en septiembre pasado, los investigadores apenas están empezando a conocer los resultados. Se espera que la tecnología podría finalmente encontrar su camino en los robots acuáticos escolares autónomos utilizados para el monitoreo ecológico, reconocimiento, u otras aplicaciones.

 

Algunos de los robots puede verse en acción, en el vídeo a continuación.

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Moth Eyes, Lotus Leaf Biomimicry To Boost Solar Efficiency

Moth Eyes, Lotus Leaf Biomimicry To Boost Solar Efficiency | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The atomic structure of a moth’s eye and lotus leaves have inspired scientists to create a new glass coating that could increase the efficiency of solar panels by up to six per cent. “While lotus leaves repel water and self-clean when it rains, a moth’s eyes are antireflective because of naturally covered tapered nanostructures where the refractive index gradually increases as light travels to the moth’s cornea,” said Tolga Aytug, member of ORNL’s Materials Chemistry Group. “Combined, these features provide truly game-changing ability to design coatings for specific properties and performance.”"

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Robotic Arm Inspired by Octopus Tentacles Aimed at Helping Surgeons

Robotic Arm Inspired by Octopus Tentacles Aimed at Helping Surgeons | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Surgeries might be easier and safer due to a new invention by researchers from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, a robotic arm that was inspired by tentacles of an octopus. 

The robotic arm device moves by using its inflatable chambers, imitating the natural motion of an octopus twisting and elongating its tentacles in any direction it desires."

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Lizard's Water-Funnelling Skin Copied in the Lab

Lizard's Water-Funnelling Skin Copied in the Lab | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have unpicked how the skin of the Texas horned lizard funnels water towards its mouth - and copied the principles in a plastic version. This reptile can collect water from anywhere, including the sand it walks on; the fluid then travels to its mouth through channels between its scales. A German-Austrian team quantified the skin's key features, notably the way its grooves narrow towards the snout. The bio-inspired plastic copy could have some engineering applications. Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the researchers suggest that the "passive, directional liquid transport" they have described might find a home in distilleries, heat exchangers, or small medical devices where condensation is a problem."

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Wooden Orchids

Wooden Orchids | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Orchid, a source of life and symbol of sustainability and fecundity, is the inspiration for the shopping mall ‘Wooden Orchids’ designed by architect Vincent Callebaut. On the southern shore of the Yangtze river in China, Wooden Orchids is designed as an innovative solution to the main socio-economic problem – the rural exodus into super cities which causes undue stress on city resources. The project aims to create a new eco-responsible shopping and rich cultural experience, while maintaining it as a tourist destination that combines passive bioclimatic principles and renewable energy technology to assure 70 per cent energy saving.

Based on biomimicry, the architecture of the shopping hub is directly inspired by the petals of an orchid flower and designed as repetition of a basic designed module. The site is divided into two lots, each in proportions of the golden section 1:1.618. The natural order of Fibonacci numbers, observed everywhere in nature, has been adopted to develop the hierarchy and flow of spaces and places, representing the right balance between solid and void, between shadow and light."

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AskNature's curator insight, July 10, 11:52 AM

The biomimicry analogue is pretty loose here, but the resulting structure and reasoning are striking nonetheless.

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This Little Seahorse Will Teach Us How To Build Better Robots

This Little Seahorse Will Teach Us How To Build Better Robots | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
It’s hip to be square if you’re a seahorse—or rather, it has certain adaptive advantages. Cylindrical tails may be much more popular in the animal kingdom, but the seahorse’s bizarre square-prism tail has far better mechanical properties.
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Diana Ries Sheldon's curator insight, July 9, 8:28 AM

@exfirebabe @sebring-airport

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Biomimicry Wave Energy Device Ready To Leave The Nest

Biomimicry Wave Energy Device Ready To Leave The Nest | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A new bio-inspired method of harvesting energy from the ocean has completed its shakedown on land, and now it’s finally ready for its first real test offshore. Called bioWAVE, the wave energy device won’t be venturing too far — Port Fairy in Australia is as far as it’s going — but we can hardly contain our excitement because we’ve been waiting 7 years for this moment."

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Cockroach Robot Squeezes Through Cracks

Cockroach Robot Squeezes Through Cracks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"While researchers hope this robot won’t be crawling around your kitchen floor, they do think a new cockroach-inspired bot will be able to slip through tiny cracks to find people buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings. Dubbed “veloci-roach,” the crawling device uses sensors and locomotion like many other bio-inspired devices. But this one flips on its side to shimmy through spaces that would normally prove too small..."

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Advanced Fog Harvesting Material Pulls 5x More Water From Thin Air

Advanced Fog Harvesting Material Pulls 5x More Water From Thin Air | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Plants and certain animals like the fog beetle can survive in very arid regions because they’ve developed ways of absorbing minute amounts of water from the atmosphere. Learning from their example allowed us to develop fog harvesting technologies—basically giant nets that trap moisture in the foggy mist, and funnel all of the tiny droplets into a container where they add up to water we can drink. In 2013, scientists at MIT created an advanced fog harvesting material that enables these giant mist catchers to generate five times more water."

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Whale Tails Can Make for Efficient Seafaring

Whale Tails Can Make for Efficient Seafaring | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are testing a model “whale tail” that can be attached to ships. NTNU is conducting these tests in the Marintek Towing Tank in cooperation with Rolls-Royce and the British companies Seaspeed and MOST. [...] The main goal of the whale tail is to help reduce fuel use by using wave energy to help the ship move forward."

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Moths' Method Of Flying Through Dark May Help Engineers Build Tiny Flying Robots

Moths' Method Of Flying Through Dark May Help Engineers Build Tiny Flying Robots | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Hawkmoths are able see in the dark, and now, researchers know how they do it. This ability allows them to track the movements of flowers blowing in the wind, even at night, as the insects hover in the air.

Manduca sexta, roughly the size of a hummingbird, were studied by researchers using infrared cameras as they traveled between mechanical flowers. As the team varied light conditions, they also altered the speed at which the artificial flowers swayed from side to side. They then recorded how well the proboscis (feeding probe) of the insects stayed within the target flower. The moths are able to slow down their brains while seeking nectar, improving their eyesight under conditions of low visibility, the study found. While their minds are working on reduced speed, the creatures are also able to maintain rapid flapping of their wings and maintaining complex flight characteristics."

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Cuttlefish's Shifting Colors Could Be Reproduced in 'Artificial Skin'

Cuttlefish's Shifting Colors Could Be Reproduced in 'Artificial Skin' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The shifting colors on the skin of cuttlefish and other cephalopods could lead to bio-inspired camouflage and signalling, researchers say.
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Building Cities Like Forests: When Biomimicry Meets Urban Design

Building Cities Like Forests: When Biomimicry Meets Urban Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"During the last century and a half, humans have created cities that ignore natural cycles such as the weather and surrounding conditions, and have developed urban areas that have little to do with life in the natural world. The control of resources and mastery of energy sources has allowed us to become carelessly independent from our natural environment—which has led to a downward unsustainable path, currently incapable of supporting the massive population growth predicted for the world’s biggest cities. [...] Nature is holding sustainable solutions to numerous city design and development problems we are currently facing—we just have to look deeper to see where the solutions are already being applied in the natural world."

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Nature Pitched as Source of innovation in Poor Countries

Nature Pitched as Source of innovation in Poor Countries | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists in developing countries should look for inspiration in their unique environments instead of trying to replicate European and US methods, a meeting at the United Kingdom’s Royal Society has heard."

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Electronic Memory May Bring Bionic Brain One Step Closer

Electronic Memory May Bring Bionic Brain One Step Closer | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Using a matrix of nano-sized memristors, researchers working at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and the University of California, Santa Barbara claim to have constructed the world’s first electronic memory cell that effectively mimics the analog process of the human brain. By storing memories as multiple threads of varying information, rather than a collection of ones and zeroes, scientists believe that this device may prove to be the first step towards creating a completely artificial, bionic brain.   Working at the MicroNano Research Facility of RMIT, the researchers believe that the breakthrough not only carries them closer to reproducing key aspects of the human brain electronically, but could also one day assist in providing effective treatments for neurological conditions – such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases – by studying such diseases outside the body using artificial brains. Eventually, even cybernetic implants could conceivably be developed from this technology."

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