Category Archives: asymmetry

The design of trees helps to reduce plastic waste

whitebarkpineMany trees do not have vertical capillary tubes for transporting water upward. Instead, a plastic-water-bottlespiral network of capillaries and fibers extend the entire length of the tree. This helical geometry strengthens the tree, allowing a greater flexibility or bending motion in high wind or during heavy weight loads. The spiral pattern is sometimes noticed on the surface of dead trees which have lost their bark.


Technical application:

less material useage

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Wild animals (macrosystem) show the same behavior like electrons (microsystem)

1024px-Cougar_closeup integrated-circuit-layoutThe search for a solution led McRae, now a biologist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, to his past life as an electrical engineer. He had a hunch that the way animals travel through a landscape might be similar to how electricity moves across circuits. If that were the case, circuit theory would help explain how genes disperse.


Technical application:

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Dromedary inspires for seawater-salt removal

DromedaryCamel.jpg.w180h221 The dromedary camel is at home in the hot Sahara Desert where temperatures can exceed 170°F (77°C). Special features of the camel’s nose allow it conserve precious moisture with each breath.





Technical application:

seawater-salt removal, desert greening

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bionic penguin as diving robot

penguin1 penguin2‘Nature demonstrates how maximum performance can be achieved with minimum energy consumption,’ a Festo spokesman said.

“The life-size bionic birds are hydrodynamic and can turn like real penguins because of the flexible glass fibre rods that control their heads.

Technical application:

submarine, airship

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walefin for optimized turbines

walefin submarineThe humpback whale has pronounced bumps or tubercles along the leading edge of its pectoral flippers (above left). A idealized model of the flipper (above upper right), which was tested in a wind tunnel, demonstrated that the tubercles enhanced hydrodynamic performance…

Technical application:

airblade, turbine, windmill

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Spider Web Glass

Certain spiders protect their delicately crafted insect nets with a special silk rope that reflects ultraviolet rays. Birds can see the ultraviolet rays and recognize the webs as obstacles they should avoid.


If engineers can reproduce the effect, it might save birds from their occasional accidental suicide runs into glassy buildings. German engineers at Arnold Glas copied the spiders and glazed their Ornilux-brand glass with a web-like pattern of ultraviolet-reflecting coating to save the birds from high-speed headaches.

Technical application:

innovative glas against birds collision

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Hook fastener with up to 35 tonns / m²

klettblumeHook and loop fasteners have become commonplace features of both industry and households.



These fasteners are resistant to chemicals and can withstand a tensile load of up to 35 tonnes per square meter at temperatures as high as 800°C.

Technical application:

Metaklett is basically suitable for use in all areas that require easily opened but stable fasteners, for example air-conditioning and ventilation systems in building services engineering and automotive construction.

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Fluid wood instead of plastic for incredible structures

fluid_woodArboform acts a lot like any other petroleum-based plastic to a manufacturer. It can be injection-molded as a heated liquid to form any shape. But Arboform is not made of petroleum. Instead, it is made of “Lignin, combined with resins, flax and other natural fibers” as described in this article:

Technical application:

substitute plastic

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