Design Inspiration from Nature – Biomimicry for a Better Planet
Solar Powered Spy Plane — Inspired by Bats
This robotic spy plane, known at the COM-BAT, was conceived by the US Military to gather real-time data for soldiers in the Army. The structure of this mini air-craft mimics the shape and function of a bat in flight, and in 2008 the University of Michigan College of Engineering was grated a five year $10-million dollar grant to in order to make this concept a reality. The device is powered by the sun, the wind, and vibrations, and it features “quantum dot solar cells” that are twice as effective as current photovoltaics.
Green Building — Inspired by Termite Mounds
Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe is one of the largest and most elaborate examples of biomimicry around. This building, designed by architect Mick Pearce in conjunction with engineers at Arup Associates, does not require conventional heating or air-conditioning. The building’s design utilizes principles found in African termite mounds to regulate its interior temperature while dramatically reducing energy consumption.
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