Biomimicry
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9 Ways of Getting Around Inspired by Biomimicry

9 Ways of Getting Around Inspired by Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] a number of designers and roboticists have already been looking at how the creatures of nature move. On the following slides, you'll find some ofthe ways nature's creativity is already being put to use."

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Biomimicry
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Sea Urchin Spines Inspire Fracture-Resistant Cement

Sea Urchin Spines Inspire Fracture-Resistant Cement | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The sea urchin spines are mostly made of calcite, usually a very brittle and fragile material. In the case of the sea urchin, however, the spines are much more durable than the raw material alone. The reason for its strength is the way that nature optimises materials using a brick wall-style architecture. A research team  headed by Prof. Helmut Colfen, successfully synthesised cement at the nano-level according to this "brick and mortar principle". During this process, macro-molecules were identified that take on the function of mortar, affixing the crystalline blocks to each other on the nano-scale, with the blocks assembling themselves in an ordered manner. The aim is to make cement more durable."

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Electric Eels Inspire a New Kind of Power Source

Electric Eels Inspire a New Kind of Power Source | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"New power sources bear a shocking resemblance to the electricity-making organs inside electric eels. These artificial electric eel organs are made up of water-based polymer mixes called hydrogels. Such soft, flexible battery-like devices, described online October 13 in Nature, could power soft robots or next-gen wearable and implantable tech."

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A Mantis Shrimp-Inspired Camera That Sees Polarized Light

A Mantis Shrimp-Inspired Camera That Sees Polarized Light | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers from the University of Illinois have managed to create a new camera called the Mantis Cam that can see polarized light. This technology provides possible solutions for everything from unlocking the mysteries of the underwater world to early cancer detection. The research was published in the journal Optica and takes its inspiration from the mantis shrimp, a crustacean with an incredible visual system. Humans have 3 different types of color receptors, but the mantis shrimp has 16 different receptors alongside another 6 polarization channels. Animals in the underwater world use polarized light for “covert communication channels” as well as hunting and navigation."

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Scallops use 200 Eyes Made of Mirrors in Order to See

Scallops use 200 Eyes Made of Mirrors in Order to See | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Scallops, hardly the most complex of creatures, have intricate eyes that work like telescopes, say researchers. They hope this discovery can one day help us make our own telescopes more powerful.
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Proposed NASA Mission Employs “Lobster-Eye” Optics

Proposed NASA Mission Employs “Lobster-Eye” Optics | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A novel optics system that mimics the structure of a lobster’s eyes would enable a conceptual Explorer-class mission to precisely locate, characterize, and alert other observatories to the source of gravitational waves, which are caused by some of the most powerful events in the universe. [...] the WFI, is equipped with the novel lobster-eye optics, which mimic the structure of the crustacean’s eyes. Lobster eyes are made up of long, narrow cells that each reflect a tiny amount of light from a given direction. This allows the light from a wide viewing area to be focused into a single image."

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Insect Eyes Inspire Structure of New Solar Panel Cell

Insect Eyes Inspire Structure of New Solar Panel Cell | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Scientists at the USA’s Stanford University have looked at the eyes of insects to create the newest form of solar cells. They have discovered that packing tiny solar cells together could pave the way for a new generation of advanced photovoltaics.
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Remora Robot Able to Adhere Quickly and Strongly to Underwater Objects

Remora Robot Able to Adhere Quickly and Strongly to Underwater Objects | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A team of researchers from China and the U.S. has created a robot that is able to mimic a remora fish by adhering quickly and strongly to underwater objects.
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Stormwater Management: Lessons from Our Forests

Stormwater Management: Lessons from Our Forests | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...]Earth’s biosphere has about 3.8 billion years of design experience at managing its rainfall. Compared with the typically impervious urban environment, where about 80 percent of rainfall becomes runoff, in a healthy Northwest forest, just 0.2 percent of rainfall does.

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Cicada Wings May Inspire New Water-Repellent Surface Materials

Cicada Wings May Inspire New Water-Repellent Surface Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers are looking to insects – specifically cicadas – for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities. Their wings allow cicadas to fly, of course, but they also are good at repelling water – a condition that humans can appreciate, too."

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Plastics Made Fireproof Thanks to Mother-of-Pearl Mimic

Plastics Made Fireproof Thanks to Mother-of-Pearl Mimic | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"It’s a technicolour dreamcoat for your crisp packet – a strong, flame-retardant and airtight new material that mimics mother of pearl. The natural version, also called nacre, is found on the inner shell of some molluscs, where it is built up of layers of the mineral aragonite separated by organic polymers such as chitin. It is remarkably strong, without being brittle or dense. We would like to use nacre and similar materials as a protective coating in many situations."

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Visionary Biomimicry: Five Insects Inspiring Cutting-edge Technology

Visionary Biomimicry: Five Insects Inspiring Cutting-edge Technology | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
One area where biomimicry is yielding fascinating results is in the field of optics and machine vision. While our cameras and ways of thinking about sight have largely been informed by the human visual system, cutting-edge research is looking to insects to find new tricks for everything from depth perception to colour analysis.
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Bamboo Biomimicry

The spatial distribution of fibers in hollow bamboo cylinders is optimized to reinforce flexural rigidity, a new finding that sheds light on biomimetic approaches in the development of materials.
Light and tough, bamboo is widely used as a natural, functional material in Japan and other Asian countries. Bamboo is light because of its hollow structure, which allows the plant to grow faster with small amounts of woody parts and expose itself to sunlight above other trees.
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BMW to Use Pomelo Fruit to Protect its Workers

BMW to Use Pomelo Fruit to Protect its Workers | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The pomelo is a large citrus fruit, somewhat like a grapefruit, and the structure of its thick rind provides great impact protection when the fruit falls off the tree. BMW, along with a group of German companies and universities, have taken inspiration from nature’s design for new protective gear as part of the Bio-Inspired Safety Systems project. The pomelo’s rind is especially good at impact absorption because it is an auxetic material. This means that when the stuff stretches the substance becomes thicker."

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Researchers Create New Non-Toxic Pigments Inspired By Bird Feathers

Researchers Create New Non-Toxic Pigments Inspired By Bird Feathers | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Birds display a rainbow palette of colors, many of which come from special arrangements of melanin, the pigment that gives color to our skin. Researchers at the University of Akron have developed a safe and stable pigment based on the melanin structures.
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Scales of Peacock Spiders May Inspire New Optical Technologies 

Scales of Peacock Spiders May Inspire New Optical Technologies  | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The rainbow peacock spider (Maratus robinsoni) showcases an intense rainbow iridescent signal in males’ courtship displays to females. The intense rainbow iridescence emerges from specialized abdominal scales on the spiders. These scales combine an airfoil-like microscopic 3D contour with nanoscale diffraction grating structures on the surface that enables separation and isolation of light into its component wavelengths. Inspiration from these super iridescent spider scales can be used to overcome current limitations in spectral manipulation, and to reduce the size of optical spectrometers for applications where fine-scale spectral resolution is required in a very small package, notably instruments on space missions, or wearable chemical detection systems.
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Black Butterfly Wings Provide Inspiration for Superior Solar Cells

Black Butterfly Wings Provide Inspiration for Superior Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Researchers recently took cues from butterflies to design thin film solar cells that can better absorb light. The rose butterfly, common to India, has soft black wings that keep the insect warm with the sun’s heat. Mimicking the design of the butterfly’s wings, the scientists created a solar cell that The Verge reports can gather light twice as efficiently.
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Scientists Made Robotic Bees to One Day Study The Ocean

Scientists Made Robotic Bees to One Day Study The Ocean | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"What’s better than a robot inspired by bees? A robot inspired by bees that can swim.Researchers led by a team at Harvard University have developed a tiny, 175-milligram (about two feathers) device with insect-inspired wings that can both flap and rotate, allowing it to either fly above the ground or swim in shallow waters and easily transition between the two."

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A Supercomputer Dreams Up a Bird-Like Airplane Wing

A Supercomputer Dreams Up a Bird-Like Airplane Wing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] a team of Danish researchers has designed a surprisingly “organic” model for the inside of an airplane wing by harnessing the immense computing power of 8,000 CPUs. In a letter published in Nature, Niels Aage and colleagues from the University of Denmark showed off an intricately curved and fractal-like airfoil design that’s strikingly similar to the interior of a bird’s wing and beak."

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Mimicking Nature's Cellular Architectures Via 3-D Printing

Mimicking Nature's Cellular Architectures Via 3-D Printing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being compressed. The plant's hardiness comes from a combination of its hollow, tubular macrostructure and porous microstructure. These architectural features work together to give grass its robust mechanical properties. Inspired by natural cellular structures, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and MIT have developed a new method to 3D print materials with independently tunable macro-and microscale porosity using a ceramic foam ink."

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Boeing, NASA Look to Flying Geese in Chase for Jet-Fuel Savings

Boeing, NASA Look to Flying Geese in Chase for Jet-Fuel Savings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Boeing Co. and NASA have found an inexpensive way to cut airline fuel bills by borrowing a trick from the world’s greatest long-distance aviators: migratory birds. By lining up cruising aircraft in a V-shaped formation favored by Canada geese, carriers would be able to produce a leap in efficiency without investing in structural makeovers or futuristic technology. The idea is to link the flying convoys safely using navigation and collision-avoidance tools that already are widely installed in cockpits."

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‘Organismoid’ Device Replicates Human Thought Processes

‘Organismoid’ Device Replicates Human Thought Processes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Researchers at Purdue University, West Lafayette, have developed a new technology called “organismoids”, devices created from a ceramic material that mirror animal memory by learning to forget unimportant memories while retaining important ones.
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One Big Step Closer to Synthetic Spider Silk

One Big Step Closer to Synthetic Spider Silk | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"Spider silk properties continue to amaze and astound, the more we learn. They are lightweight, and yet one of the toughest natural materials. They are virtually invisible to the human immune system, making spider silk a natural material for medical uses. Mankind already puts the magical threads to use, in applications as varied as weaving a golden cloak from natural spider silk to making dissolving tennis shoes out of a material invented while trying to mimic spider silk. But it could get much better. Scientists at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have sequenced the entire genome of the golden orb spider, one of the most productive of all spiders."
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Bee Brains Could Help Your Camera Take Better Photos

Bee Brains Could Help Your Camera Take Better Photos | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"New research on how bees perceive colour could be put to good use in our digital cameras, meaning photos shot by drones or phones would look more natural than ever. It's all to do with colour constancy, the way that bees (and humans) can tell a flower is red no matter what the colour or quality of the light – a mental trick that the digital cameras of today really struggle with."

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Flying Fish Give Clues to 'Tandem Wing' Airplane Design

Flying Fish Give Clues to 'Tandem Wing' Airplane Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Ribbon halfbeak are a species of fish with the ability to fly above the sea surface - but unlike true 'flying fish', they lack the necessary hind wing fins. So how do they fly? Dr Yoshinobu Inada from Tokai University, Japan says, "Investigating the design of ribbon halfbeak could provide useful information for the optimal design of tandem wing airplanes."

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Antireflection with Moth Eye Structures

Antireflection with Moth Eye Structures | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nano­structures found on moth eyes, researchers led by Shin-Tson Wu of the Uni­versity of Central Florida have developed a new anti­reflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices. The anti­reflection film exhibits a surface reflec­tion of just 0.23 percent, much lower than the surface reflection of usual phones of 4.4 percent.
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