Category Archives: multifunctionality

Sea Cucumber-Brain Implant

LeopardSeaCucumber.jpg.w300h225Sea cucumbers are found on the floor of all the world’s oceans. Their tubular shape resembles a cucumber taken from the garden. The animals frequent shallow coastal waters and are also found in the deepest ocean. Sea cucumbers, also called sea slugs, are colorful occupants of many salt water aquariums. The sea cucumber has the special ability to change its leathery skin from firm to flabby in just seconds. They tense up their body tissue by linking collagen fibers into a stiff net. When the fibers disconnect, the skin again becomes soft and pliable. Such behavior catches the interest of medical workers, especially brain specialists. Patients with Parkinson’s disease or paralysis can be treated by inserting tiny electrodes in the brain.

Technical application:

solve the contradiction “be soft and be stiff”

Continue reading Sea Cucumber-Brain Implant

Intestine – Fuel Tank

ooThis is an unusual example of practical designs found in nature. Automobiles have several new options for fuel including batteries, hydrogen gas, and natural gas. Natural gas is especially attractive because it is in good supply in the U.S., and emits only half the carbon dioxide of conventional fossil fuel. However, one challenge is to carry enough natural gas on board the vehicle for practical driving. Large, high pressure cylinders are expensive, bulky, and somewhat hazardous.

Technical application:

Continue reading Intestine – Fuel Tank

our brain inspires for supercomputers

Computers have come a long way but they still primitive compared with our own brainpower. Our brains can handle much more information and processing than any supercomputer yet developed. The brain is so far superior to current braincomputers that scientists seek ways to mimic its “wiring” in modern computers.


Technical application:


Continue reading our brain inspires for supercomputers

Saliva a wound-healing elixier

researchersThis example of a practical design in nature may lack appeal but it is vitally important to our health. A common phrase is to “lick one’s own wounds.” This saying expresses the effort to care for one’s own needs and generally look out for oneself. However, there is a more practical application. Dutch researchers are studying the chemical compounds in human saliva. They find an abundance of simple proteins called histatins that actively fight infection. Also present are compounds that cause epithelium skin cells to close quickly over a wound. Most of us have experienced the benefits of these saliva components. Small cuts inside the mouth tend to heal more rapidly than external injuries, and mouth healing leaves little scaring.

Technical application:

wound healing

Continue reading Saliva a wound-healing elixier

inspired by a tree: bypassing problems will make complex systems more fail-safe

Vein_sceletonLook closely at many tree and plant leaves and you will see an intricate network of veins. Besides the channels branching outward from a central stem, you may also notice many smaller veins in random directions, connecting with each other in closed loops. This complex arrangement is unlike the simple outward geometry of tree branches and root systems. The structure provides protection for the leaf. Suppose there is damage from disease, insects, or wind so that a vein is broken. Nutrients and water can then take alternate paths across the leaf through adjacent veins. Even the larger, central vein of the leaf can be successfully bypassed. The multiple veins also allow for fluctuations in nutrient loads due to moisture and temperature changes. Similar loop network designs are observed in coral colonies, insect wings, and the blood vessels of our eye.

Technical application:

create safe complex systems

Continue reading inspired by a tree: bypassing problems will make complex systems more fail-safe

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

Continue reading bionic penguin as diving robot

Use algae to create meachanical nano gears

diatom1 diatom2Diatoms are microscopic, single-celled algae. They are typically a few microns in diameter, ten times smaller than the width of a human hair. There are many thousands of distinct diatom species known, in both plant and animal varieties. They exist in countless numbers in the sea and are the base of many food webs.


Technical application:

unexpected high



Continue reading Use algae to create meachanical nano gears

Termite-inspired robots build structures without central command

termite robotBUILDER BOT:  This building robot uses a forklift-style arm to hoist foam bricks onto its back and three-pronged wheel-legs to trek around a construction site. An onboard computer “brain” helps the bot navigate and make building decisions independently.

Technical application:

climb steps, carry small objects, multiples of these mini-robots are able to build ramps, towers, and complex structures.

Continue reading Termite-inspired robots build structures without central command

Bees manage the grid

bee_swarm REGEN Energy is a technology company, founded on the basis of biomimicry, whose founders set out to
powergrid transform the energy efficiency landscape and develop a sophisticated new energy management technology

based on the communication patterns of honeybees.

Technical application:

organize complex power grids

Continue reading Bees manage the grid