17 Sep Behind The Scenes of Biomimicry
Welcome to your daily dose of biomimicry, the concept of studying nature and evolution to develop innovation. Recently airplane designers have been studying the albatross, a bird that surprisingly can soar thousands of miles without flapping its wings. Incredible, right? According to a recent article in National Geographic, “…a study that mixes biology with aeronautical engineering, researches have come closer to figuring out how the birds ride the currents. And their findings may be used to innovate aircrafts of the future.” By watching the albatross you may think flying looks effortless, but lets take a closer look. Janine Benyus, president of the Biomimicry 3.8 institute, recognizes that the real talent is the bird’s ability to sense the tiniest changes in air pressure and wind direction causing it to make quick turns and sharp climbs to stay soaring. To think that this bird is a stepping stone in the development of future aircrafts is so interesting to me. Have you ever thought about other inventions resulting from the study of mother nature? In the past year scientists from NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas have created artificial muscles inspired by the limbs of an octopus as well as the trunk of an elephant. In the future, these could be used to power machines and could even be injected into the human body to do repairs or stitched into clothing of the elderly to assist weaker muscles with every day tasks. The article states, “…it is interesting to see how even the strongest muscles we can devise are still based on what Mother Nature has already thought up.” Well said and very, very well done.