It has long been known that many climbing plants produce unusual tendrils for grasping and climbing. When stretched tightly, the spiral-shaped fibers do not unwind to a flat ribbon like a typical spring shape such as a telephone cord. Instead, when stretched, sections of the fiber coil further in two opposite directions, tightening and strengthening the fiber. This allows the plant to pull itself upward toward sunlight by grasping onto a branch or trellis.
machinery, robotics, and biomedicine
Continue reading bio-inspired spring to reach your tall targets
Solar energy is a popular topic today, and plants provide us with ideas for efficient collection of sunshine energy. During photosynthesis, sunlight converts carbon dioxide into water and sugars which nourish the plant. Worldwide, the daily rate of solar energy absorption by vegetation is six times greater than the output of all the world’s power plants.
produce energy (e.g. hydrogen)
Continue reading leaf-solar collector; make your own hydrogen
Transpiration is the evaporation of water from the leaves of plants and trees. The undersides of leaves are dotted with hundreds of tiny openings called stoma. Carbon dioxide enters the leaf through these pores, and water escapes. A mature tree may evaporate hundreds of gallons of water on a warm, dry day. The process cools the vegetation and also allows the internal flow of nutrients. The familiar veins within leaves transmit the water to the stoma. Studies have shown that the branching veins, called a dendrite pattern, are spaced out for maximum water flow. This leaf vein pattern may help design engineers build more efficient irrigation systems.
Tomato leaf stoma
generate , harvest water
Continue reading Leaves learn us how to produce electricity and harvest water
The 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.
Continue reading Wild animals (macrosystem) show the same behavior like electrons (microsystem)
We are all familiar with table salt, or sodium chloride (NaCl). This essential, common compound is ordinarily crystalline and brittle in nature. However, many materials behave strangely on the scale of minute quantities, and salt is no exception. Researchers at Boston College have explored tiny salt samples at close distance using an atomic force microscope.
high speed data transfer
Continue reading Salt-Nano wire for high speed data transfer
Festo has been working intensively on the topic of bionics since the early 90s. In 2006, the Bionic Learning Network was launched – an association of renowned universities, institutes and development companies. Since this time, Festo has been developing and supporting projects and test objects whose basic technical principles are derived from a wide variety of principles found in nature.
Continue reading Festo´s world of bionic solutions
Jülich, 16 May 2014 – A global society and a functioning world economy would not be conceivable without mobility. An important role is played by the aviation industry, which needs solutions for sustainable fuel in the near future. The AUFWIND project investigates algae production and conversion to biokerosene. A related project, known as OptimAL, optimizes the productivity and light use of algae. To support these activities, the Algae Science Centre has begun work at Forschungszentrum Jülich.
alternative fuel for combustion engines
Continue reading Flying with Algae
Mimicking polar bear fur, which is able to insulate the animal’s body to temperatures of 98.6° F (37° C) when outside temperatures get as low as -40° F (-40° C) could lead to better building insulation
Continue reading ultrathin insulation for buildings inspired by the polar bear
Wind turbines are the Colossus of the modern landscape, their blades sweeping circles more than a football field in diameter. Critics call them unsightly and say that the rotating blades clobber unsuspecting birds.
John Dabiri of Caltech found a solution underwater. He built an experimental wind farm — the Caltech Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE) — in which the location of turbines relative to each other takes advantage of the air flow among them.
Continue reading shoals of fish will offer their secret for windfarms
The 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…
airblade, turbine, windmill
Continue reading walefin for optimized turbines