biomimicry

Seed-Planting Tumbleweed Robot Draws From Nature to Fight Desertification

Seed-Planting Tumbleweed Robot Draws From Nature to Fight Desertification

Israeli industrial designer Shlomi Mir has created a tumbleweed-inspired robot that uses wind power to study desertification and help scientists better understand the phenomenon. The round robot uses an

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Mollusk-Inspired Super Material is 200 Times Stronger than Standard Glass

Mollusk-Inspired Super Material is 200 Times Stronger than Standard Glass

Abalone Shell photo from Shutterstock Cracked smartphone screens and shattered windows may be a thing of the past. Scientists at McGill University in Montreal have created a new type of glass that is

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NYU Researchers Create a Super Light, Flying Jellyfish Drone that Flaps into the Air

NYU Researchers Create a Super Light, Flying Jellyfish Drone that Flaps into the Air

Researchers at New York University’s Applied Math Lab unveiled a new drone inspired by nature that mimics the movement of a jellyfish. While it might sound like something destined for an aquatic life,

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Water Fleas Teach Us About Innovation?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Water Fleas Teach Us About Innovation?

In business, innovation is non-negotiable. Stay fresh, rot, or go stale. That’s never been truer than today, with volatile prices, weather, regulations, supply chains, and public sentiment. You don’t

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Dutch Willowman Creates Whimsical Sculptures in Enchanted Forest Settings

Dutch Willowman Creates Whimsical Sculptures in Enchanted Forest Settings

Will Beckers (known as The Willowman) creates stunning, ephemeral, site-specific sculptures made from re-used local materials. He started out working with clay but now incorporates a variety of natural

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idA’s Greenhouse Botanical Garden Grueningen is a Parametrically Designed Artificial Forest in Switzerland

idA’s Greenhouse Botanical Garden Grueningen is a Parametrically Designed Artificial Forest in Switzerland

The parametrically designed pavilion is organized similar to natural cell division. Using the Voronoi diagram, which illustrates organization and spatiality of crystals and cell growth, the architects

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can Parasites Teach us About Zombies?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can Parasites Teach us About Zombies?

Halloween is tomorrow, and this young girl's fancies are turning to, what else? Zombies! Yes, we all secretly worry about the coming zombie apocalypse, though not enough to assemble the

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Colorful Ice Teepees Provide Temporary Frozen Flora Shelter for Canadian Hikers

Colorful Ice Teepees Provide Temporary Frozen Flora Shelter for Canadian Hikers

The architects wanted to create a design that would use a limited set of tools and rely mostly on the site's natural conditions. They chose reinforced ice, refined with organic materials gathered from six

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can Vultures Teach Us About Sterilization and Specialization?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can Vultures Teach Us About Sterilization and Specialization?

Did you know a coven of vultures swirling overhead is called a 'kettle?' I love that. It makes me think of a fortune teller's black magic tea-leaves, steeping in her stove-top cauldron. And of course, we

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Renzo Piano’s Dragonfly-Inspired Turbine Can Harvest Energy from the Slowest Winds

Renzo Piano’s Dragonfly-Inspired Turbine Can Harvest Energy from the Slowest Winds

As we shift away from fossil fuels, many utilities have focused on building the biggest and most powerful wind turbines possible to meet growing energy needs. Architect Renzo Piano has taken a different

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The Biomimicry Manual: How Do Beavers Create Business Opportunity?

The Biomimicry Manual: How Do Beavers Create Business Opportunity?

I’m fascinated by creatures that create new ways of life for others. Ecologists talk about ‘keystone species,’ ones which support entire ecosystems, like the central stone in a renaissance archway.

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Nutcracker Teach Us About Farming and Regeneration?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Nutcracker Teach Us About Farming and Regeneration?

This morning I awoke to a blanket of soft white icing on the mountains around my Montana cabin, sweetly pink in the first light of day. Winter has breathed its first chill sigh here, and the lodge is

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Rose-Like Nano Coating Could Keep Airborne Viruses Out of Planes

Rose-Like Nano Coating Could Keep Airborne Viruses Out of Planes

Photo via Shutterstock In another awesome project inspired by nature, scientists developed a new type of nano coating that makes a surface stay wet or keep it completely dry, and it never needs to be

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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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Students Design a Mushroom-Inspired Campus with Earth-Air Tunnels for Vietnam

Students Design a Mushroom-Inspired Campus with Earth-Air Tunnels for Vietnam

The "Mushroom Community Campus," as it is known, makes use of earth-air tunnels to reduce the need for air-conditioning, along with rainwater harvesting to slash water consumption. These features mimic

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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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Kijani Grows Will Bring Small, Internet Connected Aquaponics Gardens to Schools

Kijani Grows Will Bring Small, Internet Connected Aquaponics Gardens to Schools

Aquaponics systems have grown in popularity over the years and they're currently one of the most common urban farming techniques. But while closed loop gardens—including the one you see above —are

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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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Minimalist Morpho Eco-Retreat Soars Above the Clouds in Costa Rica

Minimalist Morpho Eco-Retreat Soars Above the Clouds in Costa Rica

A home base for ecological workshops and biomimicry studies, the Morpho Eco retreat is situated on a high plateau about 850 feet above sea level, which means it basically floats among the clouds and peers

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