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Biomimicry: when the technology of inspiration from nature

Biomimicry: when the technology of inspiration from nature

Biomimicry: Technology that learns from NatureHuman beings tend to imitate Nature.Birds taught us to fly.Although it did take us a while to learn…However, until the mid-twentieth centuryno one had coined a term for this technological approach,which Otto Schmitt christened biomimetics or biomimicry.One of the first examples would be the invention of Velcro,a material that was born after a walk in the countryside by an engineer and his dog.

Upon returning home, he found that his socks were filled with little burrs from a plant called burdock.Wondering why they had stuck to his clothes, he decided to inspect them closely.Finally, he found out the answer:The burdock burrs were covered by a substantial amount of tiny hooks.Why not use those adhesive qualities for some kind of fabric?And that was how Velcro was patented.The truth is he just piggybacked on the work carried out by Nature for millions of years.Today, biomimicry and its simple and efficient solutions have a wide range of applicationsin technology, covering fields such as medicine, energy, aeronautics or advanced materials.There are three types of biomimicry:The imitation of shapes…During the early 90s the Japanese high speed bullet train created a sonic boomwhen exiting a tunnel because of the air pressure.


Eiji Nakatsu, an engineer and bird-lover,was inspired by the kingfisher’s beak,able to dive into the water at great speed with almost no friction, to create a new design.That’s how the modern bullet train, much more efficient and quieter, was born.Secondly, there would be the imitation of Nature’s strategies and mechanisms…

For instance, dolphins have mastered the art of emitting ultrasound without it interfering between them.A team of researchers has analyzed the way they modulate these frequenciesto design a tsunami alert system in the Indian Ocean.Finally, there’s also the imitation of the efficiency within an ecosystem.In India they are developing the city of Lavasa to emmulate the surrounding forests.For example, pavement is porous to drain the monsoon’s waters and the foundations of buildings grip the hillsides like the roots of trees.and the foundations of buildings grip the hillsides like the roots of trees.Ultimately, biomimicry will allow us to manage resources more efficientlywhile reducing power consumption and waste.ACCIONA


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