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Virginia Tech Creates Giant 170-Pound Jellyfish Robot!

Virginia Tech Creates Giant 170-Pound Jellyfish Robot! | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Engineers from Virginia Tech have created Cryo, a 170lb robotic jellyfish that could be used for Navy spy missions.
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Biomimetics 3D Printing Challenge Now Open

Biomimetics 3D Printing Challenge Now Open | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Crowdsourced innovation service Innonatives has posted a challenge seeking “radical ideas” on how to combine biomimetics and 3D printing for sustainability.  Innonatives is a platform where any company may post a significant challenge and seek the public’s assistance in solving the issue. In this case, the partnership of Biomimetics Hessen and the Association of German Industrial Designers (VDID) are posting a major challenge. They invite the community to: 


«Present Their most brilliant and radical ideas on how Both techniques (Biomimetics and 3D Printing) can be used in combination to generate radical improvements towards environmental, social and economic sustainability».

 

It’s not clear when the challenge closes, but the ten best ideas as determined by an “expert jury” will be presented in a special event on 15 October in Germany."

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Butterflies and Biomimicry

Butterflies and Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Photo details: A Karner Blue on hawkweed, Joel Trick, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Miguel Prazeres's insight:

Butterflies are an incredible source of inspiration. Check out the fantastic examples in this collection of scoops.

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With This Self-Healing Concrete, Buildings Repair Themselves

With This Self-Healing Concrete, Buildings Repair Themselves | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A concrete developed by Dutch scientists and embedded with limestone-producing bacteria is ready to hit the market
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Robot Can Leap From Water's Surface

Robot Can Leap From Water's Surface | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have developed a tiny robot - based on the water strider insect - that can jump on water. The robotic version uses the same forces to jump as the water strider - pushing off without breaking the surface. It takes off with a downward force that never exceeds the surface tension of water - the force that "glues" surface water molecules together."

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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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Evaporation: Closing the Gap between Forest and Urban Water Flows

Evaporation: Closing the Gap between Forest and Urban Water Flows | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Have you ever walked through an evergreen forest in the rain? There is a hush all around. The forest floor is spongy and soft beneath your feet, and the layers and textures all around you create a coziness, a feeling of being protected. As you take a deep breath of fresh, clean air, you know it’s raining big drops up above, but all you feel is a cool mist floating down through the canopy.

You can find expansive sections of this forest all around Puget Sound.  For many people, it is a mental and spiritual health reservoir, a place that helps us reconnect and remember that we are nature. But it is also an ecosystem services powerhouse. It stores carbon, cleans the air and water, regulates temperatures, and provides shelter and food for critters big and small."

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Communicating in Nature's Language

Communicating in Nature's Language | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Centuries of research and billions of dollars of investment have effectively brought humanity under the dominance of ‘1’ and ‘0’. Concurrently, millennia of evolution have seen a different language develop in the natural world: one of singular value and purpose. While the language of digital communication — radio, television, internet, wireless — has defined ‘Hello’ as the cumbersome ‘01001000 01000101 01001100 01001100 01001111’, a the bio-chemical world will represent it by a single molecule."

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Robotic Sensor Inspired by Animal Whiskers Developed to Measure Fluid Flow

Robotic Sensor Inspired by Animal Whiskers Developed to Measure Fluid Flow | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Many mammals, including seals and rats, rely on their whiskers to sense their way through dark environments. Inspired by these animals, scientists working at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois' Advanced Digital Sciences Centre in Singapore have developed a robotic 'whisker' tactile sensor array designed to produce tomographic images by measuring fluid flow."

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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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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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