In 1935, inventor Paul Sperry sought a solution to a problem encountered in his hobby of sailing off the shore of New England. Whenever the boat deck became wet, it was slippery and dangerous. One winter day during a walk, he noticed that his cocker spaniel remained surefooted, even on slippery sidewalks. Sperry later examined the dog’s paws closely and noticed wave-like grooves on the pads.
grip on slippery surfaces
Continue reading dog paw inspires for shoes
Here is an activity to try with a length of adhesive tape. Press the tape against a dusty surface several times. As expected, the tape quickly loses its holding strength as dust particles collect and coat the sticky side. In contrast, consider tree frogs which thrive in dusty, wet, or muddy surroundings. Yet they cling securely to branches and leaves, even hanging upside down. How are they able to hold on without falling?
Continue reading tree frog climb wet and dirty surfaces as well as upside down surfaces without falling
First watch the video below!
Cameras have long mimicked the optics of the eye. Both collect and focus light with a convex outer lens. However, cameras have a shortcoming: They typically focus the image onto a flat surface. Whether this surface is covered with film or a digital sensor, distortion results from the projecting of light from a curved lens onto the flat surface. The insertion of additional lenses reduces the distortion, but this adds to camera weight and cost. Our eye with its hemispherical shape has no such problem.
better optical technologies, contact lens
Continue reading eye-lens camera contact lens and monitoring your body for health purposes
This 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.
Continue reading Intestine – Fuel Tank
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 computers that scientists seek ways to mimic its “wiring” in modern computers.
Continue reading our brain inspires for supercomputers
Look 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.
create safe complex systems
Continue reading inspired by a tree: bypassing problems will make complex systems more fail-safe
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.
seawater-salt removal, desert greening
Continue reading Dromedary inspires for seawater-salt removal
Diatoms 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.
Continue reading Use algae to create meachanical nano gears
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
Many morpho butterflies are colored in metallic, shimmering shades of blues and greens. These colors are not a result of pigmentation but are an example of iridescence through structural coloration: the microscopic scales covering the Morpho’s wings reflect incident light repeatedly at successive layers, leading to interference effects that depend on both wavelength and angle of incidence/observance.
“painting” without pigments, thermal sensors
Continue reading Morpho butterfly; color without pigments