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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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Pressurised Structures – Cacti

Pressurised Structures – Cacti | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, within the order Caryophyllales and is a succulent system that contains pressurised water that gives the organism structural stability as well as being a fundamental life source.

Being a water-container, means that there is no need for other rigid structure such as bark to give structural performance against external loads. Water is an element already in compression and similar structural strategies have been derived from this natural phenomenon in man-made hydraulic structures." 

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101 Nature-inspired Innovations Featured in "Tapping into Nature" White Paper

101 Nature-inspired Innovations Featured in "Tapping into Nature" White Paper | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"By tapping into billions of years of research and development, innovative companies are abstracting strategies from the natural world and developing truly transformative technologies. Organisms have flourished on Earth for nearly 4 billion years, continuously adapting to our planet’s diverse environments and diffuse energy flows. Tapping into Nature explores how pioneering companies are leveraging these adaptations and demonstrates the vast and largely untapped market potential of bioinspired innovation. In this paper, Terrapin explores nine cross-sector topics and selects natural strategies related to each. The biological strategies represent only a fraction of the designs found in nature. Each section then presents bioinspired products—some of which are Terrapin collaborations—that have been developed by companies using these strategies. All told, this set of strategies and products begins to convey the breadth of innovation in the natural world."

 

Miguel Prazeres's insight:

Excellent report, freely available to the general public.

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What if Companies and Their Buildings Actually Enhanced Ecosystems?

What if Companies and Their Buildings Actually Enhanced Ecosystems? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"What if building codes actually required new projects to enhance a certain number of ecosystem services — such as sequestering carbon, building topsoil, enhancing pollination, increasing biodiversity or purifying water and air? Is it possible that a city could be functionally indistinguishable from the wild landscape around it? And what if companies ultimately built factories that truly enhanced ecosystem services?!

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Festo's Fantastical Insectoid Robots Include Bionic Ants and Butterflies

Festo's Fantastical Insectoid Robots Include Bionic Ants and Butterflies | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The German automation giant unleashes a swarm of new robotic insects. [...] The theme of Festo’s “Bionic Learning Network” program this year is “Join the Network,” and their flagship projects are both based around swarms of small robots that mimic the way insects work together and interact with each other."

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We Need Regenerative Farming, Not Geoengineering

We Need Regenerative Farming, Not Geoengineering | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The mindset behind geoengineering stands in sharp contrast to an emerging ecological, systems approach taking shape in the form of regenerative agriculture. More than a mere alternative strategy, regenerative agriculture represents a fundamental shift in our culture’s relationship to nature. Regenerative agriculture comprises an array of techniques that rebuild soil and, in the process, sequester carbon. Typically, it uses cover crops and perennials so that bare soil is never exposed, and grazes animals in ways that mimic animals in nature. It also offers ecological benefits far beyond carbon storage: it stops soil erosion, remineralises soil, protects the purity of groundwater and reduces damaging pesticide and fertiliser runoff."

 

Photo details: Abandoned Bailer Johnson Road. Copyright © 2009, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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Max Hardy's curator insight, March 28, 9:24 PM

Great story. If you are into systems theory, appreciative inquiry and ecology, then check this out. Yes, we can become collective smarter about so many things. 

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Kalundborg Symbiosis

Kalundborg Symbiosis | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"Kalundborg Symbiosis is the world’s first well-functioning example of industrial symbiosis and, within the academic discipline of industrial ecology, has become a textbook example of effective resource saving and cycling of materials in industrial production."
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Urban Infrastructure: What Would Nature Do?

Urban Infrastructure: What Would Nature Do? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"When urban infrastructure meets nature’s designers, amazing things can happen. More and more, biomimicry is being thought of as a way to reconsider the ways we build and operate cities. Today, these lessons are being actively applied in the realm of urban infrastructure and design in an effort to make places that are more sustainable, more livable, more intuitively designed and, at their core, more natural."

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What Your Bones Have in Common With the Eiffel Tower

What Your Bones Have in Common With the Eiffel Tower | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The Eiffel Tower weighs less than the air around it. It achieves this by exploiting the same structural ideas that make your bones so strong yet so light.
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Startup Uses Biomimicry to Create High-Performance Metal Alloys

Startup Uses Biomimicry to Create High-Performance Metal Alloys | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Used widely in nature, lamination – the deposition of fine layers of materials on top of one another – has long been known as a means of manufacturing stronger, more durable and longer lasting metals. Founded in 2006, Seattle’s Modumetal is applying the process of lamination at nano-scale, enabling engineers to design and fabricate metals with superior performance characteristics and at lower cost than conventional methods."

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Elke B. Bachler's curator insight, April 4, 6:16 AM

Quote: "Used widely in nature, lamination – the deposition of fine layers of materials on top of one another – has long been known as a means of manufacturing stronger, more durable and longer lasting metals." 

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A Drone With Bug Vision

A Drone With Bug Vision | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Almost anything that flies, be it a plane, a spacecraft, or a drone, has an inertial navigation system with accelerometers and gyroscopes that control yaw, pitch and roll, and thus the flight path. Flying insects like bees, however, don't have inertial systems to guide them; they rely exclusively on what they see. This has inspired two researchers at the Aix-Marseille University in France to build a drone that imitates the way these insects navigate. Their mission was to design it to fly and circumvent obstacles by relying solely on visual cues. "

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3D Printed Fish Scales Inspire Human Armor Development

3D Printed Fish Scales Inspire Human Armor Development | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Another incredible adaptive animal and insect feature is the development of protective scales that provide insulation, and serve as a camouflage to ward off predators. In fact, animal scale functioning is so impressive that recently “dermal modification” — or the adaptive properties of animal skins — has inspired the scientific development of human armor using 3D printing."

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Yves Bonis's curator insight, February 27, 4:08 AM

Très inspirant... d'autant qu'on doit pouvoir en faire autre chose que des armures. Allons au-delà du simple fac simile des fonctions du vivant et je crois que nous pourrons nous inclure correctement dans l'avenir du monde.

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Engineered by Humans, Inspired by Nature

Engineered by Humans, Inspired by Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Have you noticed the tiny contours and crinkles on the surface of a leaf? All those folds bend and absorb light better than if it was flat, helping it receive more rays. It turns out, this same advantageous trait inspired engineers at Princeton University to use similar micro-folds to improve the efficiency of plastic solar cells in solar panels. These man-made energy-collectors are one example of the growing field of engineering known as biomimicry."

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Structures That Unfold Like Flowers

Structures That Unfold Like Flowers | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inside a bud, a flower’s petals lie in wait, a tight bundle of compressed tissue. When the conditions are right, they burst forth, blooming in an impressive display of geometry and color. During this opening period, which may last as long as 7 days or be as brief as 5 minutes, the cells that make up the petals may expand to 20 to 50 times their initial length. This great and relatively sudden inflation accounts for most of the flower’s shape. Some cells within the petal grow more than others and this differential growth is responsible for the 3D form of the petals. [...] Multi-material 3D printing may give us a way to incorporate such movements into the architecture of products and buildings. The provocatively named discipline of 4D-printing explores fabricating shape changing materials by means of 3D-printing. The differential growth of flowers suggests a way of designing such shape changing products."

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Fish and Flowers Inspire Diving Goggle Material

Fish and Flowers Inspire Diving Goggle Material | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Light scattering means that many synthetic oil-repellent surfaces are opaque, limiting their use. A transparent, oil-repellent surface would have applications in biology and underwater optics, including in diving goggles and cameras. Now, Feng Chen’s research group at Xi’an Jiaotong University has developed such a material. Fish repel oil by trapping water within their scales to create a self-cleaning, oil-repellent coat and prompted part of the idea behind the work. Chen’s other brainwave was triggered by Diphylleia grayi – also known as the skeleton flower."

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lavieepanouie's curator insight, April 22, 5:16 PM

Ou comment la nature nous inspire !

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Software Is Using Biomimicry to Optimize Part Design

Software Is Using Biomimicry to Optimize Part Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"As additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, becomes more and more sophisticated and capable of direct production in some applications, a class of software is emerging that exploits the capability of AM technology to produce objects in a highly freeform manner. Engineering and manufacturing software giant Autodesk refers to this emerging model as goal-directed design (GDD). Autodesk is building a GDD CAD system called Dreamcatcher, now under development at its research lab while deployed in beta form to a number of the firm's customers.[...] Rather than defining a part in great detail from the top down, in bio-inspired computer-aided design, the user gives the software a set of fundamental rules and lets it seek out the optimal solution to a problem. Autodesk’s GDD system turns CAD on its head in a similar way; as opposed to a starting point of inputting the desired geometry, Dreamcatcher's bio-inspired algorithms generate the optimal design solution, employing whatever geometry solves the problem."

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​In the Future, Your City Could Change Colors Like an Octopus

​In the Future, Your City Could Change Colors Like an Octopus | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Most of us were born and will die a certain color, but octopuses are masters of their hue, changing from transparent to shades of red, pink, purple and blue by stretching and relaxing their skin. If we could unlock their secret and wrap our buildings in octopus skin, then city skylines might shimmer a spectrum of colors and opacities as the sun waxed and waned."

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Can nature unlock the potential of additive manufacturing?

Can nature unlock the potential of additive manufacturing? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"If the ultimate prize in additive manufacturing is finding a universal kit of parts, then recent nature-inspired developments in small molecule chemistry may have brought us closer to this world of the future."

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Poisonous Frogs Inspire De-icing Tech for Planes

Poisonous Frogs Inspire De-icing Tech for Planes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Although spring is finally here, the nightmare of winter flight delays is still fresh in many frequent flyers’ minds. However, these delays could soon become a thing of the past, and we have poisonous frogs to thank. Researchers from Arizona State University believe they have found a way for plane wings to de-ice themselves by secreting anti-freeze, much in the same way a poisonous dart frog’s skin secretes a toxin when threatened."

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Butterfly-Inspired Building

Butterfly-Inspired Building | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The rare blue morpho butterfly is among the largest butterflies in the world and one of the most spectacular with its brown wings that suddenly turn iridescent blue. This amazing display happens when blue light reflects off the layers of microscopic scales on its wings. 3M scientists studied the butterfly to mimic this effect in a window film."

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Chameleon-like Material Changes Color On Demand

Chameleon-like Material Changes Color On Demand | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley announced today that they have developed an ultra-thin material that can change color on demand by bouncing back light on the nanoscale level. Well, the on-demand element is a little more nuanced. The “chameleon skin” material actually changes color when flexed, or when a small amount of force is applied to the surface."

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Plants Exhibit a Wide Range of Mechanical Properties, Engineers Find

Plants Exhibit a Wide Range of Mechanical Properties, Engineers Find | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"From an engineer’s perspective, plants such as palm trees, bamboo, maples and even potatoes are examples of precise engineering on a microscopic scale. Like wooden beams reinforcing a house, cell walls make up the structural supports of all plants. Depending on how the cell walls are arranged, and what they are made of, a plant can be as flimsy as a reed, or as sturdy as an oak. An MIT researcher has compiled data on the microstructures of a number of different plants, from apples and potatoes to willow and spruce trees, and has found that plants exhibit an enormous range of mechanical properties, depending on the arrangement of a cell wall’s four main building blocks: cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin. Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, says understanding plants’ microscopic organization may help engineers design new, bio-inspired materials."

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Elke B. Bachler's curator insight, April 4, 6:14 AM

There is still so very much useful to discover in nature!

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How a Moth's Eye Could Help Improve the Efficiency of Solar Cells

How a Moth's Eye Could Help Improve the Efficiency of Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The eyes of nocturnal moths contain a series compound lenses: micro lenses called ommatidia which are themselves patterned with a nanoscale dome-shaped bumps. These structures naturally help reduce reflection of light at a wide range of wavelengths, enabling better night vision to help moths navigate in the dark. [...] The ability to capture light and not let go is appealing in the world of solar cells because it can increase efficiency. So the team from Singapore has taken inspiration from the complex lens structure to create a process that stamps patterns over the surface of a material, replicating the antireflective effects of the moths' eyes. "

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Limpet's Shell Could Inspire Next-gen Transparent Displays

Limpet's Shell Could Inspire Next-gen Transparent Displays | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"..an MIT/Harvard study suggests that a specific type of limpet's shell may hold the key to transparent displays that require no internal light source. The mollusk in question is the blue-rayed limpet which, as its name implies, has bright blue stripes on its translucent shell. It is believed that these are used to make potential predators mistake it for a poisonous snail, which also has blue markings. The iridescent lines appear blue due to the fact that the shell material in those areas reflects the blue spectrum of incoming light, while absorbing other colors so that they don't drown out the blue."

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New Biomimetic Fiber, Inspired by Pine Cones, Keeps You Dryer, Longer

New Biomimetic Fiber, Inspired by Pine Cones, Keeps You Dryer, Longer | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A new textile developed in the UK can make your workout a little less sweaty. Called Inotek, the process amps up textiles’ ability to absorb sweat, in effect pulling it away from the body- leaving you clean and dry. [...] Using the botanical structure of pine cones as a model, the textile mimics the cones’ response to moisture, which opens and closes with higher levels.

As sweat migrates toward the fabric, the fibers in Inotek begin to close like a pine cone, keeping moisture out. To keep the fabric breathing, tiny air pockets open along the surface of the textile as moisture sets in."

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Limpet Teeth Set New Strength Record

Limpet Teeth Set New Strength Record | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Engineers in the UK have found that limpets' teeth consist of the strongest biological material ever tested. Limpets use a tongue bristling with tiny teeth to scrape food off rocks and into their mouths, often swallowing particles of rock in the process. The teeth are made of a mineral-protein composite, which the researchers tested in tiny fragments in the laboratory.They found it was stronger than spider silk, as well as all but the very strongest of man-made materials.

The findings, published in the Royal Society's journal Interface, suggest that the secret to the material's strength is the thinness of its tightly packed mineral fibres - a discovery that could help improve the man-made composites used to build aircraft, cars and boats, as well as dental fillings."

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