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1Biomimicry Tools for Innovation: Biomimicry Innovation in Jonathan Weaver & Darrell Kleinke University of Detroit Mercy ME Department & IIA

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Presentation on theme: "1Biomimicry Tools for Innovation: Biomimicry Innovation in Jonathan Weaver & Darrell Kleinke University of Detroit Mercy ME Department & IIA"— Presentation transcript:

1 1Biomimicry Tools for Innovation: Biomimicry Innovation in Jonathan Weaver & Darrell Kleinke University of Detroit Mercy ME Department & IIA

2 2Biomimicry References As noted within

3 3Biomimicry Source: on 20091206 What is the world’s tallest skyscraper? … and what does a flower have to do with it?

4 4Biomimicry Quote “Those who are inspired by a model other than Nature, a mistress above all masters, are laboring in vain.” Leonardo DaVinci

5 5Biomimicry Biomimicry (or Bionics, Biomimetics, or Biognosis) “Life has been performing design experiments on Earth’s R&D lab for 3.8 billion years. What’s flourishing on the planet today are the best ideas---those that perform well in context, while economizing on energy and materials. Whatever your company’s design challenge, the odds are high that one or more of the world’s 30 million creatures has not only faced the same challenge, but has evolved effective strategies to solve it.” Source:

6 6Biomimicry Nature’s Laws, Strategies, and Principles Nature runs on sunlight Nature uses only the energy it needs Nature fits form to function Nature recycles everything Nature rewards cooperation Nature banks on diversity Nature demands local expertise Nature curbs excesses from within Nature taps the power of limits Source: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Janine Benyus

7 7Biomimicry Source:

8 8Biomimicry Source:,_Harare,_Zimbabwe.jpg

9 9Biomimicry Termite Thermal Regulation Incredible ability of termites to maintain virtually constant temperature and humidity in their Sub-Saharan Africa despite outside temperature variation from 3 °C to 42 °C Project TERMES (Termite Emulation of Regulatory Mound Environments by Simulation) scanned a termite mound, created 3-D images of the mound structure and provided the first ever glimpse of construction that may likely change the way we build our own buildings The Eastgate Centre, a mid-rise office complex in Harare, Zimbabwe, stays cool without air conditioning and uses only 10% of the energy of a conventional building its size Source:

10 10Biomimicry Taiwan Tower Inspired by trees, leaves and other Taiwanese symbols It has many eco-friendly features, such as collecting rain water and purifying it for its own use, a small footprint, and geothermal heating/cooling Source: tower-competition/taiwan-tower-dorin-stefan-birou-arhitectura-12/?extend=1

11 11Biomimicry Lizard Inspired Sandbot Sand is slippery and can act as a fluid or a solid and accurate models of the behavior of sand have yet to be developed Georgia Tech is studying how the zebra-tailed lizard runs across the desert to build robots that can traverse any type of terrain – including sand Source: sandbots (20091105)

12 12Biomimicry Echolocating Cane U Leeds (in the UK) modeled the echolocation technique used by bats They adapted their results to develop a cane for the visually impaired The UltraCane is manufactured, marketed and sold by Sound Foresight Ltd. Sources:

13 13Biomimicry Cold Water Detergents The Antarctic icefish digests oils (in its prey) in extreme cold That process offers lessons and inspirations for cold water detergents Fast Company, November 2009 Soure:

14 14Biomimicry Biomimicry – Water Mixer Example Water agencies must constantly mix water to prevent stagnation The Calla Lilly’s centripetal spirals provide an ideal flow of liquid The mixer shown runs with a fraction of the power required for a conventional mixer Source:

15 15Biomimicry Butterfly Wing Inspires Glare-Proof Displays Early cell phone displaces were difficult to read in bright light conditions Nanoscale structures on the Blue Morpho butterfly wing cause incoming light waves to interfere with one another, reflecting only specific wavelengths of brilliant color Sources:

16 16Biomimicry Butterfly Wing Inspires Glare-Proof Displays Sources: The iMod display flashes brilliant colors while drawing only a fraction of the electricity required to power a typical liquid crystal display

17 17Biomimicry Shark Inspires Hydropower System, Sources:

18 18Biomimicry Self Cleaning Paint The ‘Lotus Effect’ of how lotus leaves bead water to remain clean has inspired a new generation of self- cleaning paints Source:

19 19Biomimicry Shinkansen Front end modeled after kingfisher’s beak to minimize tunnel entry/exit shockwave Pantograph supports have serrations modeled after owl plumage to reduce wind noise Source: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, J. Benyus, Perrenial NY, 2002

20 20Biomimicry Elephant Trunk Inspires Robotic Arm The 0.75 m long Bionic Handling Assistant uses 13 actuators providing 11 degrees of freedom The design of the flexible gripper is modeled after fish tails Source: /200 /Issue /Article/True/86387

21 21Biomimicry Venus Flytrap Inspires New Way to Trap Nuclear Waste The structure has "windows" measuring 0.8 nanometers by 0.3 nanometres - just large enough for caesium ions to squeeze through Once inside, caesium bonds with sulphide ions triggering closing of the window Source:

22 22Biomimicry Lattice structure inspired by the orderly latticework of tiny ridges in the thighbone Such bone-inspired latticework has become an architectural norm today Eiffel Tower Source:

23 23Biomimicry UK Armed Forces Clothing Inspired by Pine Cones It is difficult to correctly dress for the weather and layers can be cumbersome UK researchers are investigating clothing made of materials that react to temperature and moisture, much like pine cones Source:

24 24Biomimicry Electric Eels Inspire Possibly New Battery Technology An experiment at a Japanese aquarium that used eels to light Christmas lights inspired NIST researchers to build artificial cells that copy the eel’s electric generation capability Source:

25 25Biomimicry Nature’s Hammer Inspires Ice Ax Source:

26 26Biomimicry Fishbone Audio Sensor Tokyo Electron has created the fishbone sensor, a new type of audio sensor using the inner working of the human ear as a model Each of the 24 cantilevers of the fishbone sensor works like a human ear membrane and picks up individual frequencies Source:

27 27Biomimicry Honeycomb Inspired Tire Source: UW-Madison and a Wausau, Wis., company have come up with a 37- inch, bullet and bomb-proof Humvee tire based on a polymeric web so cool looking there's no need for hub caps

28 28Biomimicry A Material Based on Sharkskin Stops Bacterial Breakouts Similar to the texture of sharkskin, Sharklet’s three- micrometer-wide diamond- shaped pattern prevents bacteria from taking root Scientists have printed that pattern on an adhesive film that will repel bacteria pathogens from hospitals and public restrooms Source:

29 29Biomimicry Toyota Working on Night Vision System Inspired by Dung Beetles Toyota engineers have developed camera software which takes inspiration from nocturnal dung beetles, bees and moths that can see across a remarkable range of color, brightness and shadow Source:

30 30Biomimicry Robo Grasshopper Small robots have a tough time on rocky terrain Swiss engineers noticed grasshoppers and locusts can quickly cover up to three feet of uneven ground in a single hop They built a batch of microbots that can propel themselves eight feet into the air Source:

31 31Biomimicry Dew Bank The onymacris unguicularis is a desert-dwelling insect that creates dewdrops using its body and then drinks them The "Dew Bank" was inspired by this habit providing convenience and an easy water supply for desert residents. Source:

32 32Biomimicry New Medicine Inspired by Frog Skin U Penn scientists have developed a potent compound that mimics molecules in frog skin that stab bacteria to death Bacteria are adapting to conventional antibiotics by modifying their receptors to prevent the antibiotic from taking hold Countering this new drug would require the bacteria to fully restructure its membrane “A Big Leap for Antibiotics,” Popular Science Magazine, January 2008.

33 33Biomimicry Sponges Inspire New Battery Technology Mimicing sponges, Rice researchers found a way of using silicon to boost the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by a factor of 10 The discovery could increase the performance of the batteries in everything from laptops to electric vehicles Source:

34 34Biomimicry Mercedes-Benz Bionic Concept Vehicle Modeled after the boxfish, it has one of the lowest Cd’s ever tested (0.19 for the concept car) Source:

35 35Biomimicry Ford Example In 2005, Ford's Volvo Division developed an anti- collision system based on the way locusts swarm without crashing into one another Source:

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37 37Biomimicry Regen Energy Source:

38 38Biomimicry Other Designs Inspired by Nature Airplanes modeled after birds (wing and body shapes, falcon beak) Morphing airplane wings that change shape according to the speed and length of a flight, inspired by birds that have differently-shaped wings depending on how fast they fly Fish-inspired scales that easily slide over each other to enable the morphing airplane wings Boat hulls designed after the shapes of fish Torpedoes that swim like tuna Solar panels that mimic natural photosynthesis Source:

39 39Biomimicry Other Designs Inspired by Nature Submarine and boats hull material that imitates dolphin and shark skin membranes Radar and sonar navigation technology and medical imaging inspired by the echolocation abilities of bats Swimsuit, triathlon and bobsled clothing fabric made with woven ribbing and texture to reduce drag while maintaining movement, mimics shark’s skin Probes for sampling liquids of various viscosities modeled after a butterfly’s proboscis

40 40Biomimicry How to Think Like a Biomimic Determine what you want to “do” (not “make”) Identify key functions/purpose Look to see how nature achieves those functions Go observe nature’s genius and conduct research or talk to experts to find patterns or principles which may work for your problem Brainstorm, design and converse Refine the design Source: Biomimicry Guild, La Cusinga, Costa Rica Design Workshop, 2007

41 41Biomimicry The Biomimicry Guild’s Suggested Process The Guild suggests a five step spiral development process: Source: Biomimicry Newsletter, Volume 4, Issue 1, February, 2006 This is further detailed on the next slide

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48 48Biomimicry Biomimicry Pinterest Site

49 49Biomimicry Biomimicry Taxonomy A nice taxonomy is available at (may have moved!): 7b39f567b7768c2#

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