biomimicry

The Biomimicry Manual: How Does Mother Nature Clean House?

The Biomimicry Manual: How Does Mother Nature Clean House?

In my last column for The Biomimicry Manual, I mentioned the way the sea snake keeps herself clean of barnacles and algae by shedding her skin. Keeping surfaces clean is a huge challenge and a big

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can We Learn About Resilience, Weight Loss, and Kidney Disease from the Grizzly Bear?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can We Learn About Resilience, Weight Loss, and Kidney Disease from the Grizzly Bear?

I'm off to the wilds of Montana this week, doing some in-person, up-close biomimicry research, and I've got my fingers crossed I'll see a grizzly bear. But you know, over there, not over here. With five

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sea Snake Teach Us About Viagra, Boat Hulls and Desalination?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sea Snake Teach Us About Viagra, Boat Hulls and Desalination?

Let's say you decided to live in the ocean. Can you imagine the challenges you would face? Lot's of land animals have done exactly that, though the transition from land to sea happens gradually through

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Honeybee Teach Designers About Insulation, Elasticity and Flight?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Honeybee Teach Designers About Insulation, Elasticity and Flight?

What exactly is biomimicry? I think of it as a way of unlocking a whole world of super-powers for humanity. It is literally the next stage of human evolution. Leonardo DaVinci himself said, "Those who are

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Frigate Bird Teach Us about Flight?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Frigate Bird Teach Us about Flight?

The frigate bird is a powerful and aggressive seabird, with a deserved reputation as the pirate of the high seas. One of world's fastest birds, he swoops and soars up to 100 miles an hour, spending up to

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sunfish Teach Us About Submarines?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sunfish Teach Us About Submarines?

With a comically tiny mouth and a blunt cauliflower tail, the ocean sunfish is little more than a swimming head. Which is, in fact, its name in German. Grotesquely oversized, these monsters appear to loll

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Whale Teach Us About Fans and Filters?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Whale Teach Us About Fans and Filters?

Humpback whale image from Shutterstock Whales are some of the most extreme creatures on Earth. The 115 foot, 150 foot ton Blue Whale, for instance, is the largest animal that ever lived. These

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting?

Image © Mark Roy One of Australia's more bizarre creatures is the thorny devil or dragon, also known as the moloch. The devil is named for the ancient god Moloch, a hideous demon smeared with the

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Designing and Building with Bacteria Could be the Future of Architecture

Designing and Building with Bacteria Could be the Future of Architecture

The rate at which science has been evolving for the last few decades suggests it won’t be long before we’re able to build houses with bacteria. Manufacturing processes are close to replacing

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Bombardier Beetle Teach Us About Fuel Injection?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Bombardier Beetle Teach Us About Fuel Injection?

Charles Darwin was a man inordinately fond of beetles. He once caught a rare specimen in one hand, when another, even more remarkable, beetle showed up. He snatched that one up with his other hand.

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Designers Learn from the Hagfish About Spandex?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Designers Learn from the Hagfish About Spandex?

The Hagfish is a jawless, spineless horror, scavenging the ocean floor. Unchanged for the past 300 million years, this living fossil wields a fiendishly effective defense. When attacked, it exudes an ooze

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Tree Shrew Teach Us About Addiction?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Tree Shrew Teach Us About Addiction?

In our newest series, The Biomimicry Manual, we are thinking about design in a different way and asking ourselves "How would nature do it?". Nature's designs are tried and true, and there are a number of

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Crucifix Toad Teach Us About Adhesives?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Crucifix Toad Teach Us About Adhesives?

Image © paulhypnos This colorful toad may be as tiny as a quarter, but he has got some big tricks up his sleeve. The Crucifix Toad, also known as the Holy Cross Frog, (Notaden bennettii), like all

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Self-Healing Solar Cells Mimic Plant Leaves to Repair Themselves

Self-Healing Solar Cells Mimic Plant Leaves to Repair Themselves

Photo via Shutterstock Plant leaves are the ideal model for a lot of solar technology, so it only makes sense that developers of manmade solar panels would look to Mother Nature to improve the

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Pompeii Worm Teach Us About Heat and Chemical Resistance?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can the Pompeii Worm Teach Us About Heat and Chemical Resistance?

'Biomimicry' is a way of designing that asks "How would nature do it?". Other creatures on Earth have spent millions of years perfecting their craft in ways that are inherently sustainable. The ones that

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Researchers Develop New Oil Spill Cleanup System Inspired by Cactus Needles

Researchers Develop New Oil Spill Cleanup System Inspired by Cactus Needles

A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have looked to nature for inspiration in their new oil spill clean-up system. The new technique is inspired by prickly cacti and, if successful, it

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Researchers to Mimic Photosynthesis to Produce Zero Carbon Liquid Fuel

Researchers to Mimic Photosynthesis to Produce Zero Carbon Liquid Fuel

Image via Shutterstock Plants convert sunlight into energy every day - and researchers have long studied ways to replicate the process to develop renewable sources of fuel. Nate Lewis is a Chemistry

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3D-Printed T8 Robotic Spider Makes Eerily Realistic Movements With 26 Motors

3D-Printed T8 Robotic Spider Makes Eerily Realistic Movements With 26 Motors

Depending on your level of comfort with technology and arachnids, the T8 robotic spider is either the gadget of dreams or nightmares. The eight-legged machine is made by Robugtix and uses 26 servo motors

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NASA Creates a Robot that Mimics the Movements of Monkeys

NASA Creates a Robot that Mimics the Movements of Monkeys

From giant mechanical jellyfish and manta rays to birds, the field of robotics is quickly moving up the evolutionary chain. In response to DARPA's Robotics Challenge, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has

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CalTech Researcher John Dabiri Uses Biomimicry to Design Cheaper, More Efficient Vertical Axis Wind Farms Inspired by Schools of Fish

CalTech Researcher John Dabiri Uses Biomimicry to Design Cheaper, More Efficient Vertical Axis Wind Farms Inspired by Schools of Fish

Wind turbine designs have improved significantly in recent years, but wind farms are still pretty inefficient. That's because traditional wind turbines -- the ones with three huge blades -- interfere with

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7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds

7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds

An Ocean Clean Up Array to Remove 7,250,000 Tons of Plastic From the World's Oceans When we first covered Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup Array it generated a phenomenal amount of excitement, as well as

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ITZ Creates Exquisite Furniture Using Fallen Wood Reclaimed from Hurricanes and Forest Fires

ITZ Creates Exquisite Furniture Using Fallen Wood Reclaimed from Hurricanes and Forest Fires

ITZ Mayan Wood Furniture specializes in creating gorgeous, modern furniture pieces, but with a keen focus on sustainability. Led by Ania Wołowska and Luis López Antúnez Hassey, the company was

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Engineers Build Robotic Carp That Can Dive and Turn Like a Real Fish

Engineers Build Robotic Carp That Can Dive and Turn Like a Real Fish

From mechanical manta rays to giant robo jellyfish, the marine world is well represented in the field of robotics. While many autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) take advantage of energy-efficient

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Robo Raven Robot Can Flap its Wings Like a Real Bird

Robo Raven Robot Can Flap its Wings Like a Real Bird

Engineers have already managed to build robots that glide, run, and buzz. Now two professors from the University of Maryland Robotics Center have created a robot that is able to fly by flapping its wings

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Biomimicry 3.8 Founder Janine Benyus Says Biomimicry is the Key to a Green 3D Printing Revolution

Biomimicry 3.8 Founder Janine Benyus Says Biomimicry is the Key to a Green 3D Printing Revolution

Sunflower photo from Shutterstock 3D printing is one of today's most exciting emerging technologies - few other developments have as much potential to shape the way we make things and the world as we

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Scientists Use Crab Shells to Make Better Lithium-Ion Batteries

Scientists Use Crab Shells to Make Better Lithium-Ion Batteries

If you can make a battery out of a piece of citrus, why not a crustacean? Scientists at Stanford University are taking a look at the nanostructure of crab shells to create better lithium-ion batteries.

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Design Inspiration from Nature – Biomimicry for a Better Planet

Design Inspiration from Nature – Biomimicry for a Better Planet

People have been turning to nature for inspiration to help them solve problems for millions of years. From buildings and bridges to materials and medicine - examining the design of nature has aided in the

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Don’t Miss the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute’s First Ever Biomimicry Education Summit and Conference in Boston!

Don’t Miss the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute’s First Ever Biomimicry Education Summit and Conference in Boston!

Interest in biomimicry has grown tremendously over the past few years as professions ranging from architects to doctors, engineers to climate scientists look to nature for solutions to some of the world's

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Sea Creatures and Dinosaurs Inspire a Virtually Indestructible Home in Berkeley, California

Sea Creatures and Dinosaurs Inspire a Virtually Indestructible Home in Berkeley, California

People who live in Berkeley, California are certainly used to seeing some strange things on the streets of their city. But those who live in the neighborhood near 2747 Matthews Street may point out a

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Swiss Scientists Create “Cheetah-Cub” Robot that Moves Like a Cat

Swiss Scientists Create “Cheetah-Cub” Robot that Moves Like a Cat

Since the time of the ancient Egyptians all the way up to modern Internet memes, human beings have long been fascinated with cats. Researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in

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