Biomimicry
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How a Leafy Folk Remedy Stopped Bedbugs in Their Tracks

How a Leafy Folk Remedy Stopped Bedbugs in Their Tracks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A group of American scientists have been studying how to replicate properties found in certain types of bean leaves that can capture, or at least slow down, the pests.
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Ladybird’s Hi-Tech Folding Wings Inspire Solar Array Paddles and Foldable Wings

Ladybird’s Hi-Tech Folding Wings Inspire Solar Array Paddles and Foldable Wings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Kazuya Saito (University of Tokyo) and colleagues used high-speed video to watch a ladybird fold its wings. “They found that prominent veins along the edge of the wings allow creases to form and fold the wings away in a complex, origami-like shape. A bend in the wing can drift down a vein as it gets folded, but the wing is ready to spring back to a rigid form when the elytra [i.e. wing cases] open”, New Scientist explains. The wing frames do not have any joints. The NS article also suggests a biomimicry dimension. This “folding mechanism could help us build solar array paddles that unfold themselves in space, foldable wings for small vehicles, or even lead to better umbrellas.”

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Scientists Develop a Novel Algorithm Inspired by Bee Colonies to Help Dismantling Criminal Social Networks

Scientists Develop a Novel Algorithm Inspired by Bee Colonies to Help Dismantling Criminal Social Networks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have designed an algorithm, inspired by the intelligent and social behavior of bee colonies, which allows law enforcement to attack and dismantle any type of social network that poses a threat, whether physical or virtual, such as social networks linked to organized crime and jihadist terrorism."

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Intelligent Biocides and ‘Air Lubrication’: Biomimicry in the Shipping Industry

Intelligent Biocides and ‘Air Lubrication’: Biomimicry in the Shipping Industry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"From a whale shark keeping unwanted freeloaders off its skin to water droplets rolling off a duck’s feathers, nature has many ingenious ways of keeping surfaces clean. The science of biomimicry, or biomimetics, seeks to harness nature’s cleverest capabilities which have taken aeons to evolve. Scientists at AkzoNobel, a global paints and coatings company, are using principles derived from nature to develop coatings that protect surfaces such as the hulls of cargo ships. And other heavy industries such as rail are experimenting with biomimicry."

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Hard Drives of the Future Could be Made of DNA

Hard Drives of the Future Could be Made of DNA | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Our data-driven society is churning out more information than traditional storage technology can handle, so scientists are looking for a solution in Nature's hard drive: DNA. A pair of researchers at Columbia University and the New York Genome Center recently wrote a full computer operating system, an 1895 French film, an Amazon gift card and other files into DNA strands and retrieved them without errors, according to a study published in the latest edition of Science."

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Wind Turbines Inspired by Insect Wings are 35% More Efficient

Wind Turbines Inspired by Insect Wings are 35% More Efficient | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Wind turbines produce 4% of the planet’s energy, but they only work well when the wind is blowing just right. Now, by drawing inspiration from the flexible wings of insects, scientists have found a way to make wind turbine blades 35% more efficient at producing energy. If commercialized, the advance could make this green technology a more viable alternative to fossil fuels in the coming years."

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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, February 20, 7:21 PM
Another interesting example of design evolution. Those blades provide a good compromise between drag and net torque. It is a finite-size system which design is evolving to facilitate the flow of energy from the wind to a rotating axis.
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Moth Eyes Inspired the Design of This Hypersensitive Camera

Moth Eyes Inspired the Design of This Hypersensitive Camera | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"If you wanted to see in the dark, you could do worse than follow the example of moths, which have of course made something of a specialty of it. That, at least, is what NASA researchers did when designing a powerful new camera that will capture the faintest features in the galaxy."

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New Batteries That Mimic the Human Intestine Could Store 5 Times More Energy

New Batteries That Mimic the Human Intestine Could Store 5 Times More Energy | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Scientists have developed a new prototype battery inspired by the anatomy of the human intestine, and the biologically informed approach could pave the way for much more powerful energy sources for our digital devices.

The prototype – which offers up to five times the energy density of the lithium-ion batteries we use in smartphones and laptops – uses a lithium-sulphur cell instead, and its intestine-mimicking design could finally make these energy-dense batteries long-lasting enough for commercial use.
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Soil Restoration Innovation Wins the First $100K Ray of Hope Prize

Soil Restoration Innovation Wins the First $100K Ray of Hope Prize | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
(San Rafael, CA – October 22, 2016) A team from the Ceres Regional Center for Fruit and Vegetable Innovation in Chile has won the first-ever $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation “Ray of Hope” Prize in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, an international design competition and accelerator program that crowdsources nature-inspired solutions to big sustainability challenges, such as climate change, food system issues, water management, and alternative energy. Approximately 25 percent of the world’s soil is degraded, and the winning concept provides a new way to protect seedlings and restore soils back to health.
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For Warmer Surfers, Leave it to Beaver-inspired Wetsuits

For Warmer Surfers, Leave it to Beaver-inspired Wetsuits | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Even though they don't have a thick layer of blubber, animals such as beavers and sea otters are still able to stay warm when diving in frigid waters. How do they do it? Well, they trap an insulating layer of air between the hairs of their fur. MIT scientists have taken that concept and run with it (or swum with it), creating a bioinspired material that could be used to make lighter, warmer wetsuits.
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New Bioinspired Innovation Case Study: Efficient Heat Transfer in Manufacturing

New Bioinspired Innovation Case Study: Efficient Heat Transfer in Manufacturing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Like all injection molding processes, HARBEC heats solid plastic until it liquefies, presses the molten plastic into the cavity of a mold, and waits for the part to cool before ejecting it. This series of steps—melt, press, cool, eject—is called a cycle. When thousands or even millions of parts are being manufactured for a customer, the duration of each cycle is critical, and HARBEC knew that the cooling step was adding up to significant time and energy costs.

The project focused on the challenge of decreasing the time and energy spent during the cooling phase of the injection molding process. Turning to the many cooling systems in nature for inspiration, Terrapin worked with HARBEC’s engineering and manufacturing teams as well as topical experts from our network to innovate on current designs. After abstracting the underlying principles of the fluid-carrying channels in certain leaves, the project team combined these insights with the capabilities of additive manufacturing. The result is a design that reduces the time and energy used by more than 20% compared to conventional solutions. Read the case study for the full account of how we unlocked these significant energy and time savings!
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Spider Silk: Nature's Bio-superlens

Spider Silk: Nature's Bio-superlens | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Extending the limit of the classical microscope's resolution has been the holy grail of microscopy for over a century. Physical laws of light make it impossible to view objects smaller than 200nm – the smallest size of bacteria – using a normal microscope alone. However, superlenses that enable us to see beyond the current magnification have been the goal since the turn of the millennium.
After a team at Bangor University's School of Electronic Engineering used a nanobead-derived superlens to break the perceived resolution barrier, the same team has achieved another world first. The team, led by Dr Zengbo Wang, and in colloboration with Professor Fritz Vollrath's silk group at Oxford University's Department of Zoology, has used a naturally occurring material – dragline silk of the golden web spider – as an additional superlens, applied to the surface of the material to be viewed, that provides an additional 2-3 times magnification. This is the first time that a naturally occurring biological material has been used as a superlens."

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NASA, Coating Technology, and the Lotus Leaf Phenomenon

NASA, Coating Technology, and the Lotus Leaf Phenomenon | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"It only takes a brief journey down a B road during the summer months to end up with a car looking like it has driven through a plague of insects. Amplify this effect by the power of a space shuttle wingspan and bug remnants can result in a significant increase in drag. The problem is that when an insect hits an aircraft at speed its mass ruptures and undergoes some chemical changes which make it stickier. Flying through a swarm of insects leads to an accumulation of debris on the leading edge of wings which creates drag and increases fuel consumption. NASA researchers, in collaboration with engineers at Langley and Boeing, studied the microscopically-rough texture of lotus leaves in order to understand how the surface is so effective at repelling dirt, dust and water."

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Biomimicry Approach to Cleaning Future Oil Spills - 'Nanofur' Material is Superhydrophobic and Superoleophilic

Biomimicry Approach to Cleaning Future Oil Spills - 'Nanofur' Material is Superhydrophobic and Superoleophilic | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Some water ferns can absorb large volumes of oil within a short time, because their leaves are strongly water-repellent and, at the same time, highly oil-absorbing. Researchers of KIT, together with colleagues of Bonn University, have found tha the oil-binding capacity of the water plant results from the hairy microstructure of its leaves. It is now used as a model to further develop the new Nanofur material for the environmentally friendly cleanup of oil spills."

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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, September 2, 2016 7:19 PM
That is a very interesting breakthrough. Let's see the applications that will emerge.
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Biomimicry with Artificial Structural Colors

Biomimicry with Artificial Structural Colors | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Bright colors in the natural world often result from tiny structures in feathers or wings that change the way light behaves when it’s reflected. This structural color is respon­sible for the vivid hues of birds and butter­flies. Arti­ficially harnessing this effect could allow us to engineer new materials for appli­cations such as solar cells and chame­leon-like adap­tive camou­flage. Inspired by the deep blue colora­tion of a native North American bird, Stellar’s jay, a team at Nagoya Uni­versity reproduced the color in their lab, giving rise to a new type of arti­ficial pigment. “The Stellar’s jay’s feathers provide an excellent example of angle-inde­pendent structural color,” says Yukikazu Takeoka, “This color is enhanced by dark materials, which in this case can be attri­buted to black melanin particles in the feathers.”

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How Birds are Helping Airbus Build Quieter Planes

How Birds are Helping Airbus Build Quieter Planes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The habits and anatomy of birds are being used by boffins at Airbus to develop quieter and more fuel efficient planes. The aviation giant, which makes and designs wings in Broughton, Flintshire, and Filton, Gloucestershire, employs Professor Norman Wood to unlock the mysteries of the natural world to help gain a commercial advantage. 
It is using so-called ‘biomimicry’ in the design of intelligent wings that react automatically to the environment, just as an eagle’s or a peregrine falcon’s do."

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Robotic Bee Drones Could Be The Future Of Agriculture

Robotic Bee Drones Could Be The Future Of Agriculture | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"This robotic bee drone prototype gives bees a hand in pollinating flowers and could be a solution to the dwindling bee population. [...] Part-awareness rising project, part-potential solution to a very real problem, Plan Bee is a self sustainable drone that stimulates the growth of plants by cross-pollination. The drone sucks pollen through tiny holes located underneath and then pushes it back out through the vents on top. As the drone flies over the field, the pollen will fall on the flowers nearby. The device is also equipped with a UV camera to locate the flowers."

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Renato P. dos Santos's curator insight, March 31, 9:03 AM
Not the 'Black Mirror' type, please. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5709236/
DroneFeed.io's curator insight, April 4, 1:22 AM

Something interesting

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Bat Bot is an Autonomous Drone That Mimics a Bat's Flight

Bat Bot is an Autonomous Drone That Mimics a Bat's Flight | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Robotic birds and winged insects are relatively easy to create, but with over 40 joints in their wings, bats offer a new level of intricacy. Or, as Caltech professor and Jet Propulsion Laboratory researcher Soon-Jo Chung put it during a press conference, "bat flight is the holy grail of aerial robotics. [...] By simplifying that wing structure into just nine key joints covered by a flexible membrane, however, the team successfully created the first Bat Bot. Built from carbon fiber bones and 3D-printed socket joints, Bat Bot weighs just 93 grams and the silicon-based wing membrane is only 56 microns thick with a roughly one-foot wingspan."

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Hedgehogs Hold the Secret to Preventing Concussions

Hedgehogs Hold the Secret to Preventing Concussions | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"If you ever find yourself watching hedgehog go about its day, you’ll notice that they tend to fall out of trees — a lot. Wild hedgehogs climb trees as high as 30 feet, looking for insects and food to eat. Sometimes they fall by accident, other times they fall on purpose to evade a predator or because falling is a lot faster than climbing down. As a hedgehog falls toward the ground, it keeps itself safe by rolling into a ball to surround itself with “spines” that absorb the impact. (Hedgehog spines are colloquially referred to as “quills,” which is the official term for what porcupines have. Hedgehog spines function differently, however, than porcupine quills.) It’s an effective method of protection — and one that humans want to steal."

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Eric Snyder's comment, February 26, 7:59 AM
Can you imagine a hockey helmet with a mat of spines on it?
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Biomimicry Helps Reduce Wind Turbine Noise

Biomimicry Helps Reduce Wind Turbine Noise | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Many species of owl are able to hunt in effective silence by suppressing their noise at sound frequencies above 1.6 kilohertz (kHz) - over the range that can be heard by humans.
A team of researchers studying the acoustics of owl flight—including Justin W. Jaworski, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University—is working to pinpoint the mechanisms that accomplish this virtual silence in order to improve the aerodynamic design of wind turbines, aircraft, naval ships and even automobiles. Now, the team has succeeded—through physical experiments and theoretical modeling—in using the downy canopy of owl feathers as a model to inspire the design of a 3D-printed, wing attachment that reduces wind turbine noise by 10 decibels without impacting aerodynamics."

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Art Jones's curator insight, November 21, 2016 5:02 PM

It seems that we we feel when we feel we are being the most creative and innovating, we are arriving at a level of technical development that allows us to simply mimic those wondrous innovations that mother nature figured out long long ago.

Marcelo Errera's curator insight, November 26, 2016 7:58 AM
Very interesting feature. Indeed Nature has undergone a long process of design evolution. 
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Zipp 454 NSW Wheels Take Design Cues From Whales

Zipp 454 NSW Wheels Take Design Cues From Whales | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[The new] 454’s wheels feature a lumpy rim profile, called SawTooth, that Zipp claims delivers unrivaled stability in crosswinds while also improving aerodynamics. For the 454, Zipp looked to humpback whales and, specifically, the lumps on the leading edges of their pectoral fins. Called tubercles, these protrusions make humpbacks more agile by keeping water attached to their flippers when they turn. In the same way that a plane can stall when air separates from the wing during high-speed maneuvers, uncontrolled turbulence over a whale’s flipper makes turning more difficult. Tubercles keep the water attached as it flows past. Zipp says its SawTooth tubercles, which the company calls “Hyperfoils,” make deep-section rims more stable in crosswinds by forcing air to slip around and off the rims in a much more predictable manner. 

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New "Artificial Synapse" Gets Closer to Mimicking Brain Connections

New "Artificial Synapse" Gets Closer to Mimicking Brain Connections | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A brain-inspired computing component provides the most faithful emulation yet of connections among neurons in the human brain, researchers say. The so-called memristor, an electrical component whose resistance relies on how much charge has passed through it in the past, mimics the way calcium ions behave at the junction between two neurons in the human brain, the study said. That junction is known as a synapse. The researchers said the new device could lead to significant advances in brain-inspired—or neuromorphic—computers, which could be much better at perceptual and learning tasks than traditional computers, as well as far more energy efficient."

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Mimicking the Veins in a Leaf, Scientists Hope to Make Super-Efficient Displays and Solar Cells

Mimicking the Veins in a Leaf, Scientists Hope to Make Super-Efficient Displays and Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"If you take a close look at a leaf from a tree and you’ll notice the veins that run through it. The structure these veins take are what’s called a quasi-fractal hierarchical networks. Fractals are geometric shapes in which each part has the same statistical character of the whole. Fractal science is used to model everything from snowflakes and the veins of leaves to crystal growth. Now an international team of researchers led by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have mimicked leaves’ quasi-fractal structure and used it to create a network of nanowires for solar cells and touch screen displays."

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Insect-Wing-Inspired Design Wins Moscow Circus School Competition

Insect-Wing-Inspired Design Wins Moscow Circus School Competition | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The team of architects Maryan Fazel and Belinda Ercan, from Iran and Germany, respectively, have won first prize in the competition for the design of the Moscow Circus School launched by the Architectural Competition Concours d’Architecture (AC-CA). 
The winning proposal, entitled Elytra, is an “eye-catching, cutting-edge, [and] unconventional” design that will tower over Moscow’s Tverskoy District, an area which features a burgeoning artistic scene. Inspired by the forewings of insects—called elytra—the project opens upwards as a protective shell, and will feature both public and private space."

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Sound-Proof Metamaterial Inspired by Spider Webs

Sound-Proof Metamaterial Inspired by Spider Webs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Spider silk is well-known for its unusual combination of being both lightweight and extremely strong—in some cases, stronger than steel. Due to these properties, researchers have been developing spider-silk-inspired materials for potential applications such as durable yet lightweight clothing, bullet-proof vests, and parachutes. But so far, the acoustic properties of spider webs have not yet been explored. Now in a new study, a team of researchers from Italy, France and the UK has designed an acoustic metamaterial (which is a material made of periodically repeating structures) influenced by the intricate spider web architecture of the golden silk orb-weaver, also called the Nephila spider."


Photo details: An orb-weaving spider (Nephila clavipes), by Ianaré Sévi [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Insects are Helping us Develop the Future of Hearing Aids

Insects are Helping us Develop the Future of Hearing Aids | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Spend a summer in the countryside in a warm climate and you’ll likely hear crickets chirping, males of the species “singing” in an attempt to attract a female. What’s surprising is how small the creatures are given the very high sound levels they produce. Could studying crickets allow us to learn something about how to design a small speaker that is also loud, just as you need for a hearing aid?"

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