biomimetic examples innovations inventions nature inspired November 25, 2022
Below is a list of our top 50 innovations inspired by nature. Each nature-based solution was implemented as a business or biomimetic invention. The criteria involved a broad mapping of each example of biomimicry, how it meets the Biomimicry Principles of Life, whether it can be widely applicable, how easily it can be globally applied and distributed, and ultimately the benefit to humanity.
Without further ado, let's see who is in the best examples of biomimetics of all time!
PD- Do you want to learn biomimicry? Ycan download our free eBook Biomimicry Fieldguide here - is an overview of the essential principles of biomimetics and how to practice biomimetics.
How birds inspired flight
Leonardo da Vinci applied biomimicry to the study of birds in the hope of making human flight possible. He closely observed the anatomy and flight of birds and made numerous notes and sketches of his observations and countless sketches of proposed "flying machines"...known today as an airplane. His research later inspired the Wright brothers. These two American aviation pioneers invented, built and successfully flew the world's first powered aircraft. A simple but profound example of biomimicry in action!
🦅 Inspired by:aves
📍 Where:Italy and America
🎯 Innovation/Function:human flight
✏️ Who:Leonardo da Vinci and the Wright brothers (shared credit)
How prairie ecosystems inspired sustainable and more efficient agriculture
We can learn a lot from the diverse and resilient ecosystems of the prairies. Although they appear to be in constant balance, nature always exists in a continual state of disturbance and fluctuation. Our current factory farming practices are abusing resources and using toxic chemicals on a massive scale. The Land Institute has developed a method called perennial grain farming, or permaculture. They use polyculture and cooperative harvesting. These nature-mimicking systems require substantially less irrigation water, prevent soil erosion, are resistant to pests, and improve plant health.
🪲 Inspired by:prairie ecosystems
📍 Where:Kansas, United States
🎯 Innovation/Function:Sustainable agriculture at scale
✏️ Who:earth institute
How spiral flow inspired an efficient water mixing system
If we look at the patterns of nature long enough, we will see that nature is deeply in love with spirals. How can it be that you are not? These fractal patterns are found in whirlpools, tornadoes, certain seashells, and even plants like pax lilies. The structure feels intrinsic to nature as it helps move material efficiently and without drag. It is also fractal in nature and can be scaled up or down as per the requirements. Pax Water scientists have developed active tank mixing technology and other applications, such as fans, that have reduced the energy required for similar outputs by approximately 30%.
💦 Inspired by:Pax Lily and spiral flows
📍 Where:California, USA
🎯 Innovation/Function:Efficient water and material mixing systems
✏️ Who:Jay Harman, PAX Water Technologies
How slime mold inspired urban planning
The "myxomycete", also commonly known as slime mold, is a single-celled organism that is capable of tracing very complex pathways and communicating information to find its food without a brain, nervous system or any of the organs we imagine when we think of these complexes. tasks. Slime fungi have been around for about a billion years and have evolved during that time to be really efficient and adaptable towards their single goal of feeding and survival. So when a group of scientists in Japan placed its favorite food, oat flakes, in various locations corresponding to major cities in Japan, this creature was able, in a matter of 5-6 days, to map the complex rail network that led to the Japanese engineers. years to plan and map. This technology, perfected by nature, can help a lot in mapping traffic in the new emerging countries of Africa and Asia and in housing and urban development planning.
🦠 Inspired by:slime mold
📍 Where:Tokyo Japan
🎯 Innovation/function:Efficient, fast and adaptable urban, road and railway cartography
✏️ Who:Atsushi Tero from Hokkaido University in Japan
How Bur Seeds Inspired Velcro
Ouch Velcro! What would we do without you? Did you know that this easy on and easy off clamping mechanism is actually derived from nature? In 1941, a Swiss engineer named George de Mestral was hunting with his dog when he noticed that small burrs of the burdock plant were trapped in the fur of his dog. On closer inspection, he realized that these little hooks and loops could be made into clothes or clothespins, which led to the discovery of Velcro and thus our society has used them in all practical applications. possible.
🌱 Inspired by:Bur seeds of the burdock plant
🎯 Innovation/function:Non-adhesive fixing mechanism, easy to apply and remove.
✏️ Who:Jorge de Mestral
How mushrooms inspired local land restoration and toxic waste cleanup
“This toxic waste looks very delicious” - A fungus, perhaps. Humans create more harmful waste than we care to admit, and much of it is sinking into our land, destroying soil quality and poisoning the land. Novobiom researchers have turned the field of bioremediation on its head, locating fungi already in the stages of reducing synthetic materials into harmless substituents and selectively breeding them to treat highly contaminated waste. All of this can be done locally without transporting the soil elsewhere for treatment. If we train fungi to deal with the waste we already generate, we can do a lot to turn our planet back to its agricultural, pre-industrial glory.
🍄 Inspired by:fungus
📍 Where:Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
🎯 Innovation/Function:Bioremediation of concentrated toxic waste (mycoremediation)
How evapotranspiration in plants inspired safe, waterless portable toilets
The lack of sanitation infrastructure in the world is worrisome. It has far-reaching effects on the health, safety and social well-being of society. This affects the poorest sections of society and especially women and girls. change:WATER Labs created the iThrone, which uses evaporation to remove human waste without using electricity or plumbing. These low-cost portable toilets quickly evaporate 95% of wastewater, mimicking the process of evapotranspiration in trees and leaves. This is how the system works: the membrane bag is non-porous and only lets water escape in the form of a gas, without the need for pipes or additional water. This technology could prove vital in refugee camps and under-resourced regions.
🌳Inspired by:Evapotranspiration in trees
📍Where:Massachusetts, United States
🎯Innovation / Role:Low Cost Waterless Portable Toilet
✏️OMS:change: water labs
How anhydrobiotic organisms inspired long-term vaccine storage
As we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, fast, efficient, and zero-waste delivery of vaccines is extremely crucial to saving millions of lives around the world. However, we found that we were not prepared for the pandemic and that vaccine distribution was especially poor in the developing world. The big reason is that the vaccines must be transported under frozen conditions that are not always met. Nova Labs has patented a method in which vaccines are first dehydrated with sugar syrup, which prevents bacteria from incubating and growing in the vials. Once injected, the bodily fluids reactivate the vaccine and it can begin its normal delivery process in the body. Technology like this has the potential to avert the next public health disaster and allows us to learn from our past experiences.
🪲 Inspired by:Resilient anhydrous organisms
📍 Where:Leicestershire, United Kingdom
🎯 Innovation/Function:Long-term storage of vaccines.
✏️ Who: New Laboratories
How the mosquito's proboscis inspired a less painful needle
Humans disagree on almost everything, but I think we can all agree on how annoying and irritating mosquitoes can be. They have evolved with us to be extremely efficient and cunning at sucking our blood and have adopted a variety of tools, both physical and chemical, used to numb our increasingly powerful senses. The mosquito's proboscis is made up of several different needles, each with its different use, so the perforation is not noticeable. Researchers in 2008, mimicking the mosquito, developed a 3-pronged needle that significantly reduced pain caused by needle insertion. The methodology is improving and science is getting closer to mimicking these pesky bugs in a good way.
🦟 Inspired by:mosquito chest
📍 Where:india and japan
🎯 Innovation/function:less painful needle
✏️ Who:MK Ramasubramanian, OM Barham y V Swaminathan
How Humpback Fins Inspired More Efficient Wind Turbines
When we think of reducing drag or increasing lift, we mostly picture the smooth surface of an airplane, but when researchers inspected the bumps on humpback whales' flippers, they found something quite contradictory. The biomimetic model fins reduced drag by 33% and increased lift by 8%. Whale Power in Canada has already implemented them in their wind turbines and this has increased efficiency by more than 40% over traditional wind turbines in some cases. Similar designs can also be emulated in other aerodynamic applications such as fan blades and propellers, airplanes, and surfboards.
🐋 Inspired by:humpback whale fin
📍 Where:US Naval Academy Tests
🎯 Innovation/function:Decrease drag and increase blade lift
✏️ Who:Power Whale, Canada
How Diatoms and Aquaporins Inspired Water Desalination and Filtration
The scarcity of clean water is already proving to be a major hurdle for humanity, as many major cities around the world are fast approaching day zero. The high energy intensive process of reverse osmosis is also showing its age and pumping vast amounts of CO2 into the air. But nature has a very effective and efficient way of filtering, and each of our tiny cells comes pre-loaded with this capability. It's called an aquaporin membrane, and it allows water molecules to pass through, preventing other particles from entering. These aquaporins are highly unstable outside of cell structure, but the Aquammodate researchers went a step further by mimicking the silica around a microalgae called diatoms, which protects the delicate aquaporins from decay. These combined discoveries have the potential to save the world and avert an impending disaster caused by water shortages.
💦 Inspired by:Diatoms and aquaporins
🎯 Innovation/function:Efficient, non-toxic water filtration
How nature inspired the circular economy
One of the biggest problems we face on our planet is the waste produced by our consumer lifestyle that ends up in landfills and in our oceans as microplastics. Nature, however, by design, has developed methods and ways of life so that each microscopic piece of biomaterial is not considered waste and is part of the ever-operating biological cycle of nutrients. Turning bicycle tires into bags, sugarcane waste into takeout boxes, and reclaimed wood into new flooring is what the circular economy looks like to us. Also big culprits such as fast fashion have been given the task of creating new clothes from clothing waste. The future is to design industrial complexes in which all industries produce zero waste, since the by-products of one industry are fed as raw materials to another. A true mimicry of the ecosystem.
🪲Inspired by:the ecosystem
🎯Innovation/function:Circular economy products. garbage products
✏️OMS:Green Guru, TerraCycle, Greenline Paper
How Stenocara Beetles Inspired Harvesting Water From Air
They say that nothing comes from nothing. Well no one told this little surviving expert found in the harsh climate of the Namib desert. In order to survive in this hellish waterless biome, evolution has provided the Namib beetle with an interesting way to gather water from the air by using the various bumps and bulges found on the body to collect and condense water vapors and channel the water. collected towards his mouth. . Infinite Cooling, USA, developed a mist capture system that captures evaporated water from tower cooling columns. This is vital for the industrial sector, which is one of the largest consumers of commercial water. A big step to combat the climate crisis was learned from this tiny beetle in the middle of the desert.
🪲 Inspired by:pinhole beetle
🎯 Innovation/function:Capture water from fog and air
✏️ Who: infinite cooling
How the pitcher plant inspired a substance repellent container lining
Don't you just hate it when a quarter of your favorite peanut butter gets stuck inside its container and annoyingly out of reach? This problem is exacerbated by the large amount of flexing on an industrial scale when paints and other viscous liquids leave a large residue in the container. This leads to material loss, waste, and downtime. Researchers at Adaptive Surface Technologies have created a surface coating that solves exactly this very problem, and they owe it to nature's plants. By studying this carnivorous plant and its unique technique for capturing insects in its pouch, they discovered a way to place a liquid barrier between the substance and the container that causes the substance to fall out without residue.
🪴 Inspired by:pitcher plant
📍 Where:Massachusetts, United States
🪣 Innovation / Function:Repellent liquid coating for containers (ink cans, ship hulls, etc.)
✏️ Who: Adaptive Surface Technologies
How Sharkskin inspired a high-tech bath fabric
A shark, though defended by its teeth and immense bite force, may have another evolutionary ace up its sleeve. Shark skin is covered by types of scales called dermal denticles. These denticles stop eddy formation and create a zone of low pressure. This leading edge vortex propels the shark forward and greatly reduces drag. The now infamous and banned suits designed by Speedo and NASA for the 2008 US Olympic swimming team won 98% of all Olympic gold medals. In addition, the denticles are also covered with microscopic grooves that make it difficult for bacteria and other germs to adhere. This makes it an ideal candidate for self-cleaning material used in hospitals and nursery schools.
🦈 Inspired by:shark skin
🩱 Innovation/function:Drag-reducing swimsuits, anti-germ fabric for hospitals
✏️ Who:speedometer and NASA
How mushrooms inspired green building material
Fungi are one of the most unique and important members of Earth's delicate ecosystem. They are nature's reapers as they recycle their waste back into the cycle so that new life can grow and flourish. Human beings generate enormous amounts of waste that is both organic and inorganic in nature. Biohm researchers have already created a thermal insulation panel that performs even better than traditional insulation materials and is composed of mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus. It is also completely biodegradable. They are also working to develop new mycelium to recycle plastic and other man-made waste into green building materials.
🍄 Inspired by:fungus
📍 Where:United Kingdom
♻️ Innovation/Function:High performance, non-toxic, biodegradable material made from industrial waste
How the human immune system inspired decentralized monitoring of disease outbreaks
Our body's immune system is a remarkable system that helps the body fight various infections, inflammations, viral or bacterial intruders, and even cancer. A type of white blood cell called T lymphocytes is responsible for defending our bodies by detecting and killing invaders and harmful cells. The body trains T cells by exposing them to unwanted bodily genetic markers, such as viruses, and attaching the test marker to the T cells. This is done in a decentralized manner and is an integral part of our immune system to identify any irregularities in the most cases. as quickly as possible and delete them. Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico have developed a biosurveillance algorithm that works like our T-cells. They are using statistical analysis to determine anomalies like sudden or large ER visits to identify and contain an outbreak. Furthermore, their algorithm contains synthetic T cells that use a negative selection criterion along with various parameters such as time of year, type of disease, and other factors to make the system as robust as our highly evolved immune system.
🪲 Inspired by: The human immune system
📍 Where: New Mexico, USA
🎯 Innovation/Function: Decentralized monitoring of disease outbreaks
✏️ Who: Sandia National Laboratories and University of New Mexico
How Bacillus bacteria inspired a self-healing bioconcrete
Concrete makes the world go round, but like everything else in this world, it degrades over time. And with the amount of material we use, it costs tens of billions of dollars worldwide to repair damaged concrete. And this is every year! But what if we had cement that healed like our own body? This is exactly the solution that Hendrik Marius Jonkers found when he found bacilli that live in rocks and produce limestone. These bacteria lie dormant within the concrete. Every time a crack occurs in the material and the bacteria are exposed to moisture and air, they go back into action and produce limescale deposits. The bacterium has a lifespan of 200 years and could save the world billions of dollars and a lot of time.
🦠 Inspired by:bacilli bacteria
🎯 Innovation/Function:self-healing concrete
✏️ Who:Hendrik Marius Jonkers
How mussels inspired a non-toxic underwater adhesive
On a scuba excursion, the lead scientist for Mussel Polymers Inc. discovered the remarkable ability of mussels to adhere to surfaces even in strong currents. He then discovered the adhesive they used and, together with other researchers and universities, devised a solution that mimics this extraordinary compound. This adhesive works 3 times stronger than other underwater solutions (About us - Mussel polymers) and is also not toxic to the environment. A major problem facing coral conservationists is that they cannot replace the coral at the rate at which it is bleaching. This solution can speed up the process and help save one of the most important biomes on our small and fragile planet.
🦪 Inspired by:mussel sticker
📍 Where:Pennsylvania, United States
🎯 Innovation/Function:Non-toxic waterproof adhesive
✏️ Who:mussel polymers
How Animal Limbs Inspired Earthquake-Resistant Bridges
Conventional bridges, particularly those in highly seismic regions, are vulnerable to damage and sometimes total collapse. These monoliths are also prone to bending and cracking and therefore require exorbitantly expensive repairs and extensive closures. Now imagine human and animal limbs. They perform similar functions of supporting the weight of the animal, but are also designed to handle unexpected loads and disperse these unexpected forces, allowing for light movement using flexible joints. Texas A&M researchers have designed new bridges that mimic the shock-absorbing capabilities of the limbs, featuring a gliding motion and the ability to resist light movement to mitigate sudden impacts to the structure. Bridge repair is a slow process and costs a significant amount of money, which indirectly affects the community. The money saved can be used to help the community instead of repairing the infrastructure.
📍Where: Texas, United States
🎯Innovation / Role:earthquake resistant bridges
✏️OMS:Texas A & M University
How snakeskin-inspired shoes grip with better friction
There is a huge public health scare among our seniors that is going under the radar! Falls are the leading cause of death in the elderly and the second leading cause of work-related deaths. Thus, he infers that if we could increase the friction between our feet and the ground, we could save lives and billions in medical bills.Harvard University]. In response, SEAS and MIT researchers developed an adaptive shoe print made by cutting the material using the Japanese Kirigami technique. The cuts imitate the scales of a snake's skin and are designed so that when the material is stretched, the tips protrude and dig into the ground, and when flattened, the tips bend back, flattening the surface. This allows the shoes to be more grippy and also very light, allowing the wearer to glide across the surface with the dexterity of a snake.
🪲Inspired by:snake skin
📍Where:Cambridge, Massachusetts, EE. UU.
🎯Innovation / Role:Organic and chemical free pest control
✏️OMS:Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
How a Kingfisher, an Owl, and a Penguin Inspired a Japanese Bullet Train
In 1989, the Shinkansen bullet train was fast. Very quickly! It could reach speeds of up to 270 km/h, but had a major problem: it made a loud rumble in residential areas when exiting tunnels due to pressure buildup while going through them. Fortunately, the lead designer was an avid bird watcher and came up with an ingenious solution using nature. He realized that the kingfisher also had to travel from one dimension (air) to another (water) silently and quickly to catch its prey underwater, and he modeled the front of the train after the kingfisher's beak. . Likewise, the connectors were modeled after the silent wings of the owl and the slippery bellies of the Adélie penguin. This made the train 10% faster, used 15% less energy, and was as quiet as a kingfisher.
🐧 Inspired by:Kingfisher Beak, Owl Wing, Adélie Penguin
🎯 Innovation/function:Shinkansen trem-bala
✏️ Who:eiji nakatsu
How termite mounds inspired building design for efficient cooling and ventilation
Whether you've ever noticed them in a dense jungle or just in your backyard, termites can create the most elaborate homes to put even some of Silicon Valley's CEOs to shame. Furthermore, these houses are extremely well ventilated and effectively stay cool in some very hot areas in tropical and subtropical climates. As the planet heats up, humanity's response to simply install more air conditioning is proving to be a disastrous solution that only adds to the problem and this efficient method of convective cooling may be the answer. Engineers in Zimbabwe have built a shopping mall that uses 10% less energy to cool the building, mimicking termite mounds.
🐜 Inspired by:termite mounds
🎯 Innovation/function:Ventilation, cooling and heating by convection flow
✏️ Who:Mick Pearce, Eastgate Center
How Gecko Feet Inspired Glue-Free Non-Toxic Stickers
Whoa! How did you get there? Mankind has long pondered the unique ability of geckos to climb basically any surface and even comfortably hang from the ceiling. GeckSkin scientists studying the legs of geckos have identified that they are covered in microscopic hairs called setae, which cover the entirety of their legs. These hairs allow the gecko to stick to surfaces using something called Van der Waals force. Usually these forces aren't strong enough to hold things together, but the gecko's hair works congruently to allow for this sticky ability so they can take the next step without leaving any residue behind. UoM engineers designed a synthetic version that can support up to 700 pounds of weight in a token-sized strip.
🦎 Inspired by:gecko feet
🐣 Innovation/function:Glue-free, non-toxic and very strong adhesive.
✏️ Who:geck skin
How coral organisms inspired innovative carbon sequestration
The cement industry is responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions. 60% of these emissions are formed during the calcination process, when the limestone from the queras is mainly extracted and treated. Corals in the sea, however, have formed very strong and stable materials, using the CO2 present in the water and forming metallic carbonates. Blue Planet scientists have found a way to make coral-mimicking carbonate aggregates without having to purify CO2 from the air. This eliminates the high energy consumed to separate CO2 from the air and creates a negative carbon by-product that can be used by the cement industry.
🐠 Inspired by:coral organisms
📍 Where:California, USA
🎯 Innovation/Function:Energy efficient carbon sequestration and useful by-product
✏️ Who:blue planet systems
How plant xylem tissue inspired an inexpensive filtration system
Water is necessary for all life on our planet. It is the catalyst and solvent for most of the chemistry of life. Because water goes so well with everything, it is also common for many microbes, dirt, and other particles to dissolve in it and contaminate it for human consumption. Plants use the xylem transport system to circulate soil water through their bodies for use in hydration and photosynthesis. This fabric has a built-in filtration system that filters impurities and small to moderate-sized particles from the water. MIT is currently developing a low-cost, modular filtering system that can be used as an endpoint filtering system for resource-poor and developing countries. Small pieces of sapwood from trees can be used for the same, which can help with large-scale adoption of the technology.
🪲Inspired by:Xylem tissue in plants.
📍Where:Massachusetts, United States
🎯Innovation / Function: Economic filtration system
How underwater plants inspired a renewable energy solution
Renewable sources of energy production are the need of the hour, but as we have recently discovered, our current deployments of solar and wind power have failed to provide continuous, zero-waste, non-toxic, and scalable forms of energy. We need functional alternatives and wave energy is just that. Researchers at BioPower Systems Pty Ltd (BPS) studied the resistance of underwater plants to withstand strong currents and attributed their success to their flexible base and elastic structure. They have developed power conversion modules that are mounted on the seabed and use motions similar to those of an underwater power plant to spin turbines and generate electricity.
🪲Inspired by: underwater plants
📍Where:New South Wales, Australia
🎯Innovation / Role:wave power generation
✏️OMS:BioPower Systems Pty Ltd (BPS)
How the school of fish inspired more efficient and space-saving wind farms
Traditionally, wind turbines have to be placed far apart, as they can disrupt each other's wind flow and reduce the overall efficiency of the farm. Scientists, examining schools of fish, have observed that they swim very close to each other without disturbing the water around them. Thus, vertical axis wind turbines were born which, when placed closely and at specific angles to each other, help increase the efficiency of each. This uses the same principles that fish use to propel themselves forward using the water vortices created by the fish around them. It will help us extract more energy from a small area.
🪲Inspired by:fishing school
🎯Innovation/function:More efficient and space-saving wind farms
✏️OMS:John Dabiri, Cal Tech
How the sycamore seed pod inspired a stylish and efficient ceiling fan
The beauty of nature, they say, lies in its simplicity and in the understated elegance of its form and function. Some designs, like Sycamore Seed Pods, allow it to automatically rotate in midair. This allows you to float in the atmosphere and, in turn, travel greater distances. Ceiling fans designed by Sycamore Technologies based on these seed pods look aesthetically pleasing, have won many design awards, and also provide excellent airflow at low rpm, run quieter, and are highly energy efficient due to to their aerodynamic designs. A quiet, introspective look at nature can teach us a lot about nature's simple solutions to complex human problems.
🪲Inspired by:sycamore pod
📍Where:New South Wales, Australia
🎯Innovation / Role:Beautiful and efficient ceiling fan
How Slug Slime Inspired Adhesive Surgical Glue
The common garden slug has a minor superpower. It can stick to wet surfaces and also be flexible enough to maneuver as we've all seen it. It turns out that the slime generated by these innocuous slugs is not only super sticky, but also very strong. Meanwhile, in the world of medicine, doctors and scientists were also looking for a surgical adhesive that could repair a critical and delicate organ like our heart better than stitches and staples, when they came across this ingenious solution that already existed in nature. . When the slug is startled, it secretes a mucus in its defense that is so strong that birds and other predators cannot tear it off the leaves, even wet leaves. This inspired scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute to create a similar double-layer hydrogel surgical patch that has been successfully tested on bleeding pig hearts and other animal parts. So the next time we see these pioneers, we should thank them for their medical services.
🪲 Inspired by: slug slime
📍 Where: Boston, MA, EE. UU.
🎯 Innovation/Function: strong and sticky surgical adhesive
✏️ Who: Hansjörg Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
Like octopus-inspired squishy robots
Traditional robots with rigid joints and actuators are very good at performing very specific tasks, but they often fail to adapt to changing or opposing environments. This led scientists to the cunning octopus. This creature is incredibly intelligent, to be sure, but most of its abilities come from its body and its maneuverability, so much so that it can perform very different and unrelated tasks. This is aided by its tentacles which can form hands, legs, shields, and harpoons. It can even unscrew a jar with its tentacles. By mimicking this versatile non-rigid form and using compatible mechanisms, controlling pressure and adding sensors, researchers at the Hawkes Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara have created soft robots that could even save your life one day.
🐙 Inspired by:dust tentacles
🎯 Innovation/function:High performance, non-toxic, biodegradable material made from industrial waste
✏️ Who:Elliot Hawkes, Laboratorio Hawkes, UC Santa Bárbara
How the human retina inspired event-based vision
Eyes have independently evolved countless times in nature, and the human eye is one of our most highly developed organs. It is used to understand, react, and make decisions based on observed changes in the environment. The conventional video technology we use generates video by sequencing image after image at fixed points. This leads to redundancy and data storage issues for applications that only require activation data. Profhesee's Metavision mimics the retina of the eye and has developed pixels that are asynchronous and independent and only react if there are changes in the scene. This technology has many applications in the food processing industries and also to capture any unusual movement in the machines, which can help in early detection of faults as these cameras are more sensitive to movement than our own eyes.
🪲Inspired by:retina of the human eye
🎯Innovation / Role:Event-based view
How the forests inspired a chemical-free water filtration system
Forest ecosystems are a well-oiled machine. The resources here are so abundant that various organisms have carved a niche for themselves, including some biodegradation experts. These organisms are sought after because, among all things, there is one thing that humans are really good at: producing garbage. The folks at Biolytix are taking naturally adaptable organisms that are good at biodegrading waste in forests and importing them into our sewage and wastewater networks to clean them up. In addition, they are also providing ways to use the clean water to water plants and finding other secondary uses for it.
🪲Inspired by:forest decomposers
📍Where:Auckland, New Zealand
🎯Innovation / Role:Efficient wastewater management
How spider webs inspired safety glass for birds
Humans invented glass at least 5,000 years ago. It's durable, luxurious, and some would say one of our most important innovations. We also like that it is transparent, as it allows for full transparency while also providing a strong barrier against the environment. The transparency part, however, is proving deadly for the hundreds of millions of birds that end up crashing into our buildings and skyscrapers. They just can't detect them! The Arnold Glas people wanted a solution to this and nature solved this problem over 50 million years ago. Spiders also don't want birds colliding with their webs, as they are too big to get caught in them, so they have incorporated ultraviolet-reflecting silk threads into their webs. ORNILUX Bird Protection Glass is a glass with a UV reflective coating that is detected by birds and they fly perfectly around you.
🪲Inspired by:spider web
🎯Innovation / Role:bird protection glass
How photosynthesis inspired chemical reactions using light
The global chemical industry consumes 25% of the energy used in all manufacturing industries. This is due to the high temperature and pressure required by the most commonly used rare earth catalysts, such as iridium. Plants and other special organisms also produce energy using sunlight without the need for harmful chemicals or intense heat, with a catalyst called chlorophyll. Mimicking this ability, the New Iridium team has developed proprietary light-absorbing chemical compounds that initiate reactions when exposed to light. This greener and cheaper process has the ability to significantly reduce damage from today's chemical industry.
🌈 Inspired by:Photosynthesis
📍 Where:colorado, united states
🎯 Innovation/Function:light sensitive chemical catalysts
✏️ Who:new iridium
How the chameleon inspired color-changing 3D printing
Are you tired of having to change your printer cartridge every time you need to change the color? Is your printer slowing you down? Well, then look at why nature has been doing multicolor additive manufacturing for the last billion years. Chameleons use a combination of structural and pigment-based methods to dramatically and precisely change color. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has developed a printing process that produces crystal structures that reflect different visible light depending on the size and shape of the crystals. They control the size by regulating the temperature and speed at the print nozzle. This could be the future of 3D printing with printers ready to print multiple colors from the same filament or input material.
🪲 Inspired by:Chameleon
📍 where: Illinois, United States
🎯 Innovation/Function:3D printer that prints different colors in the same cycle
✏️ Who:University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
How dolphins inspired precise underwater communication
Much of our Earth's oceans remain unexplored and uncharted. Certain tsunamis, earthquakes, and other catastrophic events go unnoticed due to motion, noise, limited bandwidth, and variable delays that severely affect underwater data transmission. Dolphins, on the other hand, seem to communicate complex information very well! The way they do this is by spreading their trills and songs over a wide range of frequencies. This largely cancels out specific disturbances and provides clarity even through echoes. As such, dolphins and other marine life provide the key to unlocking our oceans.
🪲 Inspired by:dolphins
📍 Where:Berlin Germany
🎯 Innovation/Function:precision underwater communication
✏️ Who:EvoLogics GmbH
How the Cyphochilus beetle inspired a natural, non-toxic white pigment
Our industries can't seem to get enough toxic chemicals and continue to use them, even though most of them can be very fatal to our health. This is the case with ink dyes. Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) is commonly used to produce everyone's favorite; The color white. We need to stop this deadly trend, and luckily for us, researchers at Impossible Materials studying the super-white Cyphochilus beetle have mimicked the nanostructure inside the beetle's skin that reflects white light and replicated it inside a chain of molecules of cellulose. Thus creating a better and safer white pigment.
🪲 Inspired by:cyphochilus beetle
📍 Where:Cambridge, United Kingdom
🎯 Innovation/Function:natural non-toxic white pigment
✏️ Who:impossible materials
How mangroves inspired the living wall
Mangroves are extremely important to the local environment, creating and sustaining their own biome, supporting countless species, helping combat climate change, preventing coral bleaching, and being the only type of tree that can grow in saltwater. . Unfortunately, over the last 200 years, we have lost 20% of our total mangrove cover[average]. To combat this problem, the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences and Reef Design Laboratory, together with Volvo Cars, came up with an ingenious solution by planting more than 1,000 panels in the seawalls along the Sydney coastline. The panels are made to mimic mangrove roots, which is allowing many important species of local corals and crustaceans to find new homes, and further reducing wall damage by slowing the speed of water hitting the walls that , in turn, decrease sand erosion along coastlines, which has proven to be the leading cause of coastal natural disasters.
🎯Innovation / Role:Artificial structures for coral restoration
✏️OMS:Sydney Institute of Marine Science y Reef Design Lab y carros Volvo
How adaptive organisms and slime mold inspired an innovative industrial CAD design tool
Where nature excels is in local sourcing and efficient use of materials. From human skeletons to bird skulls and slime mold growths. Efficiency is the name of the game. With their R&D skills and expert additive manufacturing, natural designs seemed too intricate, complex and impossible to replicate until now. Recent developments in 3D printing allow us to primitively imitate the craft of nature and now Autodesk has developed Project Dreamcatcher which seeks to harness the R&D of nature and enables users to generate thousands of generative design solutions that meet a variety of constraints as in the real world. This can lead to less expensive designs that can be as beautiful as nature itself.
🪲Inspired by:adaptive organisms, mucilaginous moho
🎯Innovation / Role:CAD design tool with real-time and time-saving features
How nematode pheromones inspired pest control without organic chemicals
Our current farming practices are the perfect example of the law of diminishing returns. Industry goliaths increasingly encourage the use of fertilizers and pesticides that degrade the natural quality of the soil and tons of it are dumped into our streams. These practices are also facing backlash from consumers, who are growing increasingly tired of the overused chemicals ending up on their plates. To combat the problem of crop pests organically, Pheronym Inc turned to the abundant nematodes and took advantage of their communication systems. It is well established that nematodes are the most natural remedy for maintaining soil health. Researchers have discovered nematode pheromone signals that promote the activity and function of beneficial nematodes and also inhibit harmful parasitic nematodes. The chemicals have also been shown to be good for bee health and all without the use of toxic chemicals.
🪲Inspired by:nematode pheromones
🎯Innovation / Role:Organic and chemical free pest control
How spider silk inspires high-performance silk fiber
In the holy grail of chemical science, probably just below graphene, is the ability to mass-produce spider silk. A material lighter than hair and stronger than steel! While we haven't gotten there yet, we definitely understand how spiders produce said silk. And, as with humans, we came very close to replicating it. Spintex Engineering can spin fibers at room temperature, simply by extracting them from a liquid protein gel and without using harsh chemicals. The fibers are high performance and also completely biodegradable. This has the potential to completely revolutionize the fashion and apparel industry.
🕷 Inspired by:spider silk yarn
📍 Where:United Kingdom
🎯 Innovation/Function:High performance biodegradable fiber
✏️ Who:Spintex Engineering
like manta rayInspired Underwater Surveillance Robot
Our knowledge of the ocean may be less than that of space. 95% of the ocean mass remains unexplored [source: NOAA]. However, some animals make it their home and thrive in these conditions. EvoLogics scientists have developed an autonomous underwater vehicle that mimics the manta ray. The stingray's large fins allow it to maneuver underwater with extreme precision. It can dive and climb, maintain depths, and travel at very fast speeds, making it ideal for exploring and understanding our mysterious oceans.
🎯Innovation / Role:Autonomous underwater surveillance vehicle
How seaweed inspired multifunctional biodegradable shoes
I think we all agree. Fast fashion is bad for the environment and is a major contributor of non-biodegradable and non-recyclable plastic waste to our landfills and even worse; our oceans! Munjoi's team is changing that by using algae instead of petroleum-based plastic. They have partnered with companies that capture invasive algal blooms and others that are farming carbon-negative algae. They have also made the shoes multifunctional as with their innovative designs the same shoes can be worn as sandals, slippers and everything else. Fungi are little carbon sequestering machines and will biodegrade in 4-6 months if they leak into the ocean. Shoes can also be recycled into new materials. Similar companies like Bloom and C Combinator are also taking this approach and changing the fashion industry.
🪲 Inspired by:algae oil, ecosystem
📍 Where:Massachusetts, United States
🎯 Innovation/Function:Multifunctional and biodegradable fashion products
✏️ Who:Munjoi, Combinador C, Bloom
How microorganisms from the ocean inspired the biodegradable plastic alternative
One of the most amazing abilities of our planet is the absorption of carbon. Carbon capture, as it is called. From vast forested ecosystems to vast oceans and the dazzling variety of organisms that use carbon to make various components. In the oceans, organisms form carbonates. In other areas, certain bacteria convert them into a bioplastic called PHB. PHB is a biodegradable (compostable) compound that releases CO2 and water as a by-product when it breaks down. It can also be used to manufacture new alternative plastic materials after the end of the current product life cycle. In the ocean, these materials take 1-3 years to biodegrade. Newlight Technologies has already implemented this idea with its product: AirCarbon!
🌊 Inspired by:Various oceans and other microorganisms.
📍 Where:California, USA
🎯Innovation / Role:CO2-based compostable bioplastic and other alternatives to carbon
✏️OMS:new light technologies
How the Mantis Shrimp Club inspired lightweight, impact-resistant composites
The mantis shrimp may be the best boxer in the world. They can break shells of crabs as hard as an egg; like clubs, they accelerate faster than a .22 caliber bullet when thrown. But the question remains: how do shrimp manage to deal with the shock of such an explosive impact? The secret lies in the shock absorption capacity of the putter. Although it is composed of chitin, a very common construction material in nature, the helical structure in which the natural polymer is arranged makes it excellent for absorbing impacts. Helicoid Technology is a company that has developed a polymer that mimics the mantis shrimp so that stronger polymers can now be made using fewer materials.
🦐 Inspired by:mantis shrimp
📍 Where:California, USA
🎯 Innovation/Function:Impact resistant, strong and lightweight material.
✏️ Who:helical technology
How moth eyes inspired a polarized light capture satellite
The universe hides big and beautiful secrets. Most of which are only visible under infrared light, as it allows us to see through the clouds and gases scattered throughout the universe. NASA scientists working on the HAWC+ Far Infrared Camera and Imaging Polarimeter needed ways to capture the maximum amount of infrared rays incident on the telescope. In nature, at night, the moth has similar visibility problems and solves them by covering its eyes with a regular pattern of conical bulges. These rough, nanometer-sized spikes help guide light into the eye instead of reflecting it. These modifications are helping HAWC+ to get much more light from the same source and get a clearer image of the object in space.
🪲Inspired by:moth eyes
🎯Innovation / Role:Polarized Light Capture Satellite
✏️OMS:Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), NASA
How Pangolin inspired flexible and resistant backpacks
Curling up into a ball against an enemy may not work for you, but it's the pangolin's best defense. Their entire body is covered in tough scales of up to 1,000 and they overlap in a mosaic-like pattern. This allows the flexibility to curl up if you feel any threat and fully cover your tummy. Pangolin Backpacks designed backpacks that mimic the frame so your laptop and other vitals can be protected under the shell and the scale patterns allow for a full opening as well.
🪲Inspired by: Pangolim
🎯Innovation / Role:Flexible and durable backpacks
How Venus' Flower Basket Inspired Modern Architecture
In the last 2000 years, we humans have quite mastered the art of construction and infrastructure, or so we think! If you take a walk in London, you will see what appears to be a derelict alien ship in a sea of boring buildings called “The Gherkin”. Inspired by the flower basket of Venus, a filter that feeds from the bottom of the sea, this building uses a spatial arrangement of delicate materials, such as glass, to form a strong yet flexible structure. The rounded shape of the building also helps deflect wind currents around it. The building uses another capacity similar to the sponge filter feed stack, which creates shafts between various floors to allow airflow and ventilation. The building structure also allows fewer beams and columns to be used and leads to a reduction in the use of materials.
🪲Inspired by:Venus flower basket
📍Where:London, United Kingdom
🎯Innovation / Role:Beautiful and better ventilated building
✏️OMS:30 St Mary Axe alias Gherkin
How the chameleon's tongue inspired a versatile bionic claw
Chameleon is a superhero you didn't even know you wanted. He has speed, displacement, invisibility and a tongue 2 times faster than the fastest car. Another feature of the tongue is the ability to grab prey that is very different in shape and size. Festo Biomimica has developed an adaptable material gripping tool that has a soft, flexible silicone cone at its tip. The tool is first positioned on the object. It then wraps around the object like a chameleon would wrap around a fly. Once grasped, it varies the pressure applied to firmly hold the object in its grip and then carry it to its destination. This tool has a host of military and disaster relief applications when the size and shape of the items to be recovered is unknown.
🪲 Inspired by:the chameleon's tongue
📍 Where:New York, USA
🎯 Innovation/Function:adaptable soft material gripping tool
✏️ Who:New Laboratories
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