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Look out! Here Comes the Spider Web! Behind the Quest to Recreate This Powerful Silk.

Look out! Here Comes the Spider Web! Behind the Quest to Recreate This Powerful Silk. | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A Japanese startup called Spiber said it has produced an artificial spider thread that it claims is equal to steel in tensile strength yet as flexible as rubber."

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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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Biology Inspires Idea for Improving Lithium Ion Batteries

Biology Inspires Idea for Improving Lithium Ion Batteries | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Teeth and bones, snail shells and bird eggs are formed via a process called biomineralization. Found across all kingdoms of life, this method of incorporating minerals like calcium or silica into hard tissues is clearly very useful in nature. The concept is so powerful that researchers are now working on applying it to the rather unnatural environment found within lithium ion batteries."


Photo by H Zell (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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A Mountain Goat-Inspired Prosthetic Leg for Rock Climbing

A Mountain Goat-Inspired Prosthetic Leg for Rock Climbing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"There are certain things we have to do every day, like eating. But for physical and mental health, it's just as important to be able to do things that we want to do. And specialized prosthetics allow amputees to do the specific stuff. If you have one arm and want  to play the drums, you can do it. And if you have one leg and want to go rock climbing ... you can do it.. [...] Klippa is a prototyped leg prosthetic created specifically for climbing. Its design draws on the way mountain goat hooves provide traction, grip, stability, and concentrated force for the body they're supporting. "

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Underwater Vehicle Uses a Balloon to Dart Like an Octopus

Underwater Vehicle Uses a Balloon to Dart Like an Octopus | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"When you inflate a balloon and then release it without tying the valve shut, it certainly shoots away quickly. Octopi utilize the same basic principle, although they suck in and then rapidly expel water. An international team of scientists have now replicated that system in a soft-bodied miniature underwater vehicle, which could pave the way for very quickly-accelerating full-size submersibles."

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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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Have a Scientific Problem? Steal an Answer from Nature

Have a Scientific Problem? Steal an Answer from Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"From its overall shape, inspired by the efficient contours of fish and dolphins, to its active sonar, originating in the study of bats, the answers to problems of natural selection can be found throughout the submarine. Since ancient times, humans have sought to solve problems with technology, and they've often been inspired to do so by observing how animals and plants found elegant solutions to similar problems. In looking deeper into these solutions recently, scientists have been repeatedly astonished at the sophistication and optimal performance of evolutionary adaptations. They have discovered light sensors that can detect single photons, skin that can magically repel water, acoustic lenses that focus sound beams, and bugs that can solve calculus problems. To put it plainly: we humans are increasingly realizing that nature offers a lot of great designs to steal."

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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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Contracting Muscle Grown in Lab for the First TIme

Contracting Muscle Grown in Lab for the First TIme | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A team of engineers at Duke University has created the world's first human-made human muscle that can respond to stimuli. The muscle tissue can contract when exposed to electric and chemical stimuli.
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Tree-shaped Wind-turbines Shows Biomimicry at its Best

Tree-shaped Wind-turbines Shows Biomimicry at its Best | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"... a French company called NewWind has been developing aesthetically pleasing, tree-shaped turbines meant to run silently within cities, at ground level. The innovation is simple named “L’Arbre à Vent” or in English “The Wind Tree”. The tree features 72 artificial leaves where each leave is a small turbine that rotates around a vertically directed axis. The leaves are very light-weight, which means that they can generate power from very small amounts of wind. Actually it takes nothing more than 4.4 mph (2 meters/second) of wind for them to function, and this is amount of wind is equal to a gentle breeze."


Photo: Michaud LARIVIERE, http://www.cite-telecoms.com/decouvr/arbre-a-vent/

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ibexerain's comment, January 13, 12:10 AM
Sensational looking
Michael Holder's curator insight, January 13, 6:43 PM

Perhaps the beginning of the end and the extinction of mammoth Industrial Wind Turbines and their globally corrupt Corporate boon-doggle. One can only hope - good riddance!  

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Dutch Scientists Create Concrete that Heals Itself With Built-in Bacteria

Dutch Scientists Create Concrete that Heals Itself With Built-in Bacteria | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists in the Netherlands have created a bio-concrete blend with built-in bacteria that can patch up small cracks and holes in cement. Activated by water, the bacteria would eat food provided in the concrete mixture to combine calcium with oxygen and carbon dioxide to form what is essentially limestone."

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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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Treatment Inspired By Nature

Treatment Inspired By Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Due to their incredible height – an average of 15- to 18-feet – the blood vessels in giraffes’ lower legs are under great strain because of the weight of fluid pressing down on them. But despite the stress on their veins, giraffes never suffer from swelling or ulcers in their lower legs. [...] The giraffe’s tough, non-elastic skin works like the anti-gravity suit worn by astronauts, preventing the stagnation of blood in their lower extremities. That inspired scientists at 3M to create a compression system to help treat a painful human medical condition called venous leg ulcers, which are caused by uncontrolled high pressure in the veins of the lower leg. Venous leg ulcers are extremely common in the United States and affect between 500,000 to two million people."

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The Octopus and Bioinspiration

The Octopus and Bioinspiration | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Photo details: Octopus vulgaris, Comingio Merculiano, 1896. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Miguel Prazeres's insight:

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

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Display Design and the Human Vision System

Display Design and the Human Vision System | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"PenTile® technology is biomimetic, meaning it is designed to compliment the complex mechanics of the eye-brain system. As a simple example of eye mechanics consider how the eye utilizes the color blue. The eye has cone receptors that sense color and brightness, and discern patterns. These cones are sensitive to different wavelengths of color—primarily red, green, and blue. The blue cones detect mostly color (chroma) information, while the red and green cones do most of the work resolving images by discerning luminance, edges, and structural details of images, as well as contributing to color vision. The red and green cones are used independently, each cone seeing a "dot" of black and white—ignoring its color to produce high resolution luminance perception—and are used in opposition, comparing the amount of red versus green, to produce low resolution color perception.

 

The PenTile RGBW™ layout uses each red, green, blue and white subpixel to present high-resolution luminance information to the red and green cones, while using the combined effect of all the color subpixels to present lower-resolution chroma (color) information to all three cone types. Combined, this optimizes the match of display technology to the biological mechanisms of human vision."

 

Photo details: Brown eyes, 2007 by Alecgarci 149. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. 

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Biomimicry Global Design Challenge

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"Look to the abundance of lessons nature has to offer and develop a biomimetic design that solves an important food system challenge while protecting the health of our planet."
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Bio-inspired Autonomous Vehicles Expand Navy Littoral Capabilities

Bio-inspired Autonomous Vehicles Expand Navy Littoral Capabilities | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have taken inspiration from nature—from fish, in particular—to design and develop novel underwater propulsion, control, and sensing solutions for near-shore and littoral zone missions.
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Plant Roots Mimicked to Develop Soil-Monitoring Robots

Plant Roots Mimicked to Develop Soil-Monitoring Robots | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"...a number of technologies have emerged from the study and mimicry of plants and the way in which their roots function. One such example is a project called the Innovative Robotic Artefacts Inspired by Plant Roots for Soil Monitoring - or PLANTOID for short - a European Commission-funded research project into the behaviour of roots with the aim of developing advanced soil monitoring technologies."

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Memo to Carmakers: This Fish Is a Bad Model

Memo to Carmakers: This Fish Is a Bad Model | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In 2005, Mercedes-Benz revealed a concept car with a strange shape. Called the Bionic, the cartoonishly snub-nosed vehicle was modeled after Ostracion cubicus, the yellow boxfish. Car manufacturers aren’t the only ones to take inspiration from this weird coral dweller. But researchers now say engineers who mimicked the boxfish might have been misled."

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Tommies 2014: the Best of Bio-inspired Designs

Tommies 2014: the Best of Bio-inspired Designs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
It’s time for the sixth annual Tommies, my salute to the best of bio-inspired designs of 2014. As always, the 10 awardees are organized according to the natural organism inspiring the innovation. This year’s cohort includes a range of clever developments and ideas that have been percolating for some years but were advanced in significant ways this year. I hope you find my picks of 2014 as fascinating as I have. Wishing all of my readers a bright and bio-inspired New Year!
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Leonard Howard's curator insight, February 6, 11:47 PM

What were the best of the best bio-inspired designs of 2014 and why?