Biomimicry
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Biomimicry
Nature inspired innovation
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Mosquito Inspires Near-painless Hypodermic Needle

Mosquito Inspires Near-painless Hypodermic Needle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Mosquitoes are perhaps useful for something after all, besides feeding frogs. Along with his colleagues at Osaka's Kansai University, mechanical engineer Seiji Aoyagi has created an almost pain-free hypodermic needle that is based on a mosquito's proboscis. Perhaps surprisingly, the needle's patient-friendliness comes from the fact that its outer surface is jagged, not smooth.

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Slithering Robotic Snakes Repairs Jet Engines

Slithering Robotic Snakes Repairs Jet Engines | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Rolls-Royce is developing snake-like robots with their industrial partners as part of a European research project called MiRoR. New Scientist reports that the robots would be used to maneuver inside jet engines and repair any damage. They would be operated remotely, allowing experts to quickly fix any problems and reduce delays for passengers.

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Fascinating Sandcastle Worm Inspires Biocompatible Glue For Broken Bones

Fascinating Sandcastle Worm Inspires Biocompatible Glue For Broken Bones | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The self-contained sandcastle worm is biomimicked for a new bio-glue that will cement shattered bones.

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Engineering Spider Silk

Engineering Spider Silk | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Spider silk has drawn much attention from engineers in the past 20 years for its toughness and elasticity, properties which may be utilized in applications such as suspension bridge wires, bulletproof vests, and medical adhesives. There remains, however, a mystery behind the production of spider silk. Scientists are intensively studying this process in order for engineers to replicate the silk in synthetic form. 

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Joanna Aizenberg - Extreme Biomimetics

Joanna Aizenberg displays fascinating processes in nature, and shares with us how we can mimic these processes to improve our daily lives..

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Robot Tuna Joins Homeland Security Arsenal

Robot Tuna Joins Homeland Security Arsenal | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Speedy tuna capable of swimming tirelessly in the Earth's oceans have inspired the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fund a lookalike robot for underwater patrols. The "BIOSwimmer" robot features faithfully replicated fins and a flexible tail to pull off quick maneuvers like the real-life fish.Homeland Security made the choice to fund the robot made by the Boston Engineering Corporation in Waltham, Mass., with an eye toward missions such as exploring the flooded areas of ships, inspecting oil tankers or patrolling U.S. harbors to watch out for suspicious activity.

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How Bats Catch Prey That’s Sitting Still

How Bats Catch Prey That’s Sitting Still | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Using high-speed video, scientists have figured out how bats use echolocation to find prey that’s holding still—and hope to use their discovery to improve robots.

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How Space Robots Could Heal, Learn Like Living Creatures

How Space Robots Could Heal, Learn Like Living Creatures | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

No living creature born on Earth has evolved to live in space. But the next wave of space robots may use "bio-inspired" designs based on specialized jellyfish cells, lemur climbing skills or even the fast-learning brain of a human child. Living organisms still have two huge advantages over even the best space robots — biological creatures can heal themselves and they have nervous systems capable of learning from the surrounding environment. At the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Space 2012 Conference & Exposition on Sept. 12, robotics researchers from NASA and the U.S. military talked about their hopes for someday making space robots that mimic those biological abilities through self-repair mechanisms and "brains" based on learning software.

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Robo-cheetah Can Outrun Usain Bolt

Robo-cheetah Can Outrun Usain Bolt | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The Cheetah robot from Boston Dynamics, makers of BigDog, has set a new legged-robot speed record, and actually tops out at speeds that would leave Usain Bolt behind — barely.

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Biomimetics as a Tool for the Development of New Materials

Biomimetics as a Tool for the Development of New Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Biomimetics is on everyone’s lips and it is now difficult to imagine a future where it does not play a key role in the development of our society. The development of new materials is not unconcerned with this new discipline, though we must be aware of what we can obtain (and what we cannot) from imitating Nature’s strategies.

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Bowooss Pavilion, A Study In Bionics

Bowooss Pavilion, A Study In Bionics | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Influenced by biomimetics and the examination of systems, structures, and processes found in nature, students at The School of Architecture at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, have constructed a temporary research pavilion inspired by the efficiency of nature. The structure, called Bowooss, or “bionic optimized wood shells with sustainability”, draws specific inspiration from the shells of marine plankton. The Bowooss site explains that the extensive biodiversity that exists within certain diatoms “promises the discovery of entirely new design principles.” The structure, which is fitted with a distinctive pattern of cutouts allowing light to dance through the pavilion, was constructed out of wood, citing the advantageous properties of the source material.

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Namib Beetle Inspires Design of Dew Bank Bottle

Namib Beetle Inspires Design of Dew Bank Bottle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The onymacris unguicularis is a beetle found in the Namibian desert and has the most unique way of procuring water. Early in the morning, when the dew enriched fog is settled over the dunes, the beetle goes to the peak and positions its body in such a way that it helps in dew formation, and slurps up the water thus formed. Using this technique is the Dew Bank Bottle. It’s made is such a way that the steel body helps to assimilate the morning dew and channel it into the bottle immediately. Ideal for the nomads in the desert! Be sure to watch the BBC clip at the end of the post, which explains this ingenious tactic.

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AeroVironment's Mola Robot Flies Underwater on Solar Power

AeroVironment's Mola Robot Flies Underwater on Solar Power | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

A mola, or ocean sunfish, is a very big, very flat, and (in this reporter's opinion) rather silly looking tropical bony fish. Aerovioronment has used the sunfish as an inspiration for one of their latest proof of concept robots: Mola, an oceangoing robot that's powered by the sun.

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Bumblebee Flight Paths Could Inspire Faster Computers

Bumblebee Flight Paths Could Inspire Faster Computers | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Researchers found that bumblebees can quickly map out the shortest routes between flowers, a behavior that could inspire faster computers.
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Bee Brains to Make Robots Smarter

Bee Brains to Make Robots Smarter | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The way that bees smell and see is being studied in a £1m project to produce a simulation of the insect's sensory systems. The simulated bee brain will then be used by a flying robot to help it make decisions about how to navigate safely. Robots that emerge from the research project could help in search and rescue missions or work on farms mechanically pollinating crops.

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University of Akron's Research into Geckos' Natural Stickiness may Pay Off in Companies and Products

University of Akron's Research into Geckos' Natural Stickiness may Pay Off in Companies and Products | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The University of Akron's research into what makes geckos' feet stick to almost anything -- part of an emerging field called bio-inspiration -- could have big payoffs in industrial adhesives, electronics, robotics and other fields.

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Biomimicry: Inspiring Solar Energy Technology Developments Through Nature

Biomimicry: Inspiring Solar Energy Technology Developments Through Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The improvements to solar energy technology have been impressive, such as going from the conventional and bulky first generation solar cells/modules to the flexible second generation thin-film solar cells/modules. Accompanying this has been a significant reduction in the cost of manufacturing solar cells and modules, with an average price of roughly US$1 per Watt for first-generation and second-generation modules.

 

With further technological breakthroughs expected in the next few years, the future is rosy for the solar industry. However, instead of patiently waiting for this next wave of advancements, academics have devised ways to further tweak solar energy technology and these tweaks are based on observations in nature.

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Researchers are Getting Closer to Making Artificial Nacre

Researchers are Getting Closer to Making Artificial Nacre | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The remarkable properties of some natural materials have motivated many researchers to synthesize biomimetic nanocomposites that attempt to reproduce Nature’s achievements and to understand the toughening and deformation mechanisms of natural nanocomposite materials. One of the best examples is nacre, the pearly internal layer of many mollusc shells. It has evolved through millions of years to a level of optimization currently achieved in very few engineered composites. Preparation of artificial analogs of nacre has been approached by using several different methods and the resulting materials capture some of the characteristics of the natural composite

 

Nacre has a layered structure composed of approximately 95% calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and nearly 5% organics. As depicted in the figure below, single-crystalline calcium carbonate nanotablets (CCNs) are interfaced by entrapped organics. Such a periodic 'bricks and mortar' arrangement is crucial to mechanical and other outstanding properties that nacre possesses.

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Albatross's Effortless Flight Decoded—May Influence Future Planes

Albatross's Effortless Flight Decoded—May Influence Future Planes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Aerospace engineers may have finally figured out how albatrosses go so far without flapping, and the findings could shape future planes.
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Biomimetic Membrane Update

When WDR talked to Peter Holme Jensen, the CEO of Danish-based Aquaporin A/S, earlier this year, the company had just completed the successful testing of Aquaporin Inside™ membranes at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Based on the results, as well as the work being done with other test partners, Holme Jensen said that the company is now moving forward with plans to invest in a membrane manufacturing facility to produce commercial quantities of membranes by the end of 2013.

“We are planning the move out of the laboratory and into full-scale use,” he said. “Our ABMs [Aquaporin-based Biomimetic Membrane] will consist of a polymeric support layer with aquaporins incorporated in a thin-film membrane coating. Although the production procedures for RO and FO [forward osmosis] membranes are the same, we expect the FO version to be available first.”

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Brazil’s 2016 Olympic Village Inspired By Rainforest

Brazil’s 2016 Olympic Village Inspired By Rainforest | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Whether or not countries benefit from the infrastructure they build to host the Olympics is a subject for heated debate, but build they still must. So, at the very least, the buildings should be visionary and exciting. Brazil, hosting the summer Olympiad in 2016, just announced the winner of the competition to design its Olympic village and many of the event spaces. The results, from British firm AECOM, are stunning and designed to fit with the country's flora and fauna. The park itself, according to the designers, is inspired by Brazil's rainforests. It will contain "five 'villages' inspired by rare flora found in the Atlantica rainforests ... The villages comprise striking canopy structures providing shade and shelter for spectators."

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Flexible Snake Armor Could Inspire Abrasion-Resistant Materials

Flexible Snake Armor Could Inspire Abrasion-Resistant Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Snakes are highly specialized legless animals, which have evolved around 150 million years ago. Although without extremities their body is exposed to constant friction forces. Snake skin could inspire systems in engineering with minimized abrasion.
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Skygrove: NYC Architects Reimagine Office Building for World of Water

Skygrove: NYC Architects Reimagine Office Building for World of Water | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

From New York City-based architects HWKN’s Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner comes Skygrove: a one million-square-foot design concept for a commercial office building that operates in a wetter world. [...] The Skygrove concept was created to visualize what architecture might look like in an era of rising seas, not only to protect tenants from their implications but to “capitalize on their potential.” Skygrove’s architecture is, of course, biophilic: its lower floors mimic the roots of a tree growing in a tidal location. Each floor in Skygrove is self-sufficient and “designed for independent survival in a maximum disaster,” connected by a compartmentalized facade with the tower’s necessary infrastructure: vertical circulation, water, energy, and air supply.

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Shrew's Whiskers Get Robotic Touch

Shrew's Whiskers Get Robotic Touch | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

There are bionic eyes, ears and even noses and robots can see and hear even better than humans. But a sense of touch is still a challenge. So a group of European researchers turned to whiskers for inspiration. Humans can sense quite a bit with their fingertips, but animals like cats and mice use whiskers as a touch sensor. One reason for looking to whiskers (otherwise known as vibrissae) is that they're more durable than skin-like sensors placed on robotic fingers, which get a lot of wear and tear. Whiskers are also good for dark places where a camera might not be able to see.

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Amid Wave of Bioinspiration, San Diego Zoo Creates Innovation Center

Amid Wave of Bioinspiration, San Diego Zoo Creates Innovation Center | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Over the past few years, the San Diego Zoo has generated a new revenue stream by developing a variety of educational and business programs focused on biomimicry, a school of thought often described as “innovation inspired by nature.”

 

Using its in-house expertise in conservation, zoology, botany, and other fields, the zoo has organized conferences, developed course materials, and hosted workshops to show how biological designs, processes, and materials can be applied to transform industry and commerce. In its own imitation of nature, the zoo also has worked to expand the ecosystem of biomimicry-focused businesses and research institutions. The zoo even commissioned a report last year that says biomimicry could generate as much as $300 billion annually to the U.S. economy by 2025.

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