Biomimicry
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Studying Owls to Improve Aircraft

Studying Owls to Improve Aircraft | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Many owls have the extraordinary ability to fly in almost complete silence. Could this adaptation have implications for the way we design aircraft?

 

Photo details: Snowy Owl, Saint Barthelemy, Near Montreal, Quebec. Copyright © 2010, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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Yves Bonis's curator insight, December 9, 2014 3:51 AM

Le vol silencieux des hiboux a déjà inspiré le Shinkansen - le "TGV" japonais. Il pourrait bien aider également l'aviation...

Biomimicry
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New Fabric Inspired by Polar Bear Hair

New Fabric Inspired by Polar Bear Hair | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The thick pelt that helps polar bears to survive frigid Arctic winters has inspired a warm, sturdy fiber. Inspired by the microstructure and thermal insulation function of the polar bear hair, a research team led by Professor BAI Hao with ZJU’s College of Chemical and Biological Engineering has used a freeze-spinning technique to continuously fabricate silk fibroin solution into a fiber with aligned porous microstructure.
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The Simple Algorithm That Ants Use to Build Bridges

The Simple Algorithm That Ants Use to Build Bridges | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Army ants form colonies of millions yet have no permanent home. They march through the jungle each night in search of new foraging ground. Along the way they perform logistical feats that would make a four-star general proud, including building bridges with their own bodies. Much like the swarms of cheap, dumb robots that I explored in my recent article, army ants manage this coordination with no leader and with minimal cognitive resources."

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Hummingbird Inspired Wind Turbines

Hummingbird Inspired Wind Turbines | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A North African company has developed what it contends is a paradigm-shifting wind turbine technology based on the flapping of hummingbird wings. Any potential paradigm shifts are down the road a bit, but based on some remarkable images and new demo videos, the clean energy machine may be the prettiest wind turbine ever invented. Developed by Tyer Wind, a startup based in Tunisia, the turbine uses biomimicry principles to replicate the mechanical action of hummingbird wings. The design is fundamentally different from standard rotor-based wind turbines because instead of converting linear motion - wind blowing across the land - into a circular motion, it converts it into a figure-eight pattern. Not only is that shape the same as the one hummingbird wings make while the birds hover, but it also generates energy on both the upstroke and the downstroke.

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Using Shark Scales to Design Better Drones, Planes, and Wind Turbines

Using Shark Scales to Design Better Drones, Planes, and Wind Turbines | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"To build more aerodynamic machines, researchers are drawing inspiration from an unlikely source: the ocean. A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drones and cars."

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bioMason Grows Bricks Without Using Any Heat

bioMason Grows Bricks Without Using Any Heat | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] bioMason grows bricks and masonry without using any heat.

[...] It starts by packing sand into regular molds, which are then inoculated with bacteria. The bacteria wrap themselves around grains of sand. Each grain acts as a nucleus and calcium carbonate crystals form around it. The bricks are then fed nutrient-rich water via an irrigation system for the next couple of days, speeding up the growth of the crystals which then fill the gaps between grains of sand. After four days, the bricks are strong, durable and ready to be used on the construction yard, and the water is then reused for the next set."

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Pinecones Could Help Make Buildings More Energy Efficient

Pinecones Could Help Make Buildings More Energy Efficient | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Cones produced by such trees as pines, spruce, hemlock, and fir respond naturally to different degrees of humidity by opening and closing, without consuming any electrical energy in doing so. Designing window blinds based on their mechanical properties that could open and close in response to moisture — but use no energy in the process — could conserve a lot of energy.
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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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'Origami' Gripper Unfurls Like an Earwig's Amazing Wing

'Origami' Gripper Unfurls Like an Earwig's Amazing Wing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The wing of an earwig is a lot like origami—but its elaborate design is far more ingenious than anything humans can make. Researchers have been studying the secret of these wings and have created an artificial structure that functions on the same principle.

When open, the earwig wing expands ten times larger than when closed—one of the highest folding ratios in the animal kingdom. The large wing area allows the insect to fly, while the compact way the wings retract enables the creature to tunnel underground without damaging its wings. The wing design has another unique feature; however, in its open, locked state the wing remains stiff with no need for muscle power to provide stability. With just one “click” the wing folds into itself completely, without the action of muscles."

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New Super-White Material Inspired by Eerily White Beetle

New Super-White Material Inspired by Eerily White Beetle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have engineered perhaps the whitest natural substance, using the same physics behind one ghostly white Southeast Asian beetle. White and black feel like opposites for a reason. Black-colored things absorb nearly all of the light that strikes their surface, while white things send the light back, scattered equally at all wavelengths. A team of European scientists have essentially created the whitest paper using this physical property."

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How Honeybees Make the Internet Work

How Honeybees Make the Internet Work | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Computer engineers study the mathematics of how to optimize complex systems. In one example, they face a logistics challenge known as the "travelling salesman problem:" how can a hypothetical salesperson visit every city on their route in the shortest distance?

The algorithms developed to answer these sorts of questions are useful in many situations, such as reducing the costs of and pollution from a fleet of delivery trucks. But when engineers tried to optimize traffic on the internet, they found their methods wanting. [...]

Honeybees don't study mathematics, but the demands of evolution reward those colonies that succeed in optimizing their resources. Fortunately, in the strange tale of how honeybees make the internet work, the scientists were smart enough to see that the honeybees knew better than they did.

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Architecture and Biomimicry

Architecture and Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Architects and designers are increasingly using the principles of biomimicry in their work. Check out the fantastic examples in this collection of scoops (click on photo).
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Bee Inspired Innovation

Bee Inspired Innovation | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Photo details: Apis mellifera by Muhammad Mahdi Karim (www.micro2macro.net) Facebook Youtube), GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons

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Bees' behaviour, organizational habilities and anatomy have been scrutinized intensely by scientists looking for new ideas and solutions to current problems. Check out the fantastic examples in this collection of scoops (click on photo).
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Airbus and Biomimicry: Engineering in Nature’s Style

Airbus and Biomimicry: Engineering in Nature’s Style | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The growing science of biomimicry focuses on what humanity can learn from the world, and Airbus engineers are learning quite a lot about efficient solutions for aircraft design that nature has spent millions of years refining.
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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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