Many industrial technologies carry with them the burden of exploiting and destroying our natural environment. Gas fuels, car spew pollutants, coal burning, garbage and sewage generation, pesticides, microplastic particles, and other factors contribute to severe damage to the conditions of nature, consequently harming our own physical and mental wellbeing. It begs the question if there is a way to pursue technological development without harming nature. Biomimicry (biomimetics) answers the need for an environmentally friendly innovative approach.
What Is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry is an emerging branch of science analyzing structures in nature, which finds application in many fields including agriculture, ecology, materials science, energy, computing, and commerce. Its first appearance was in the 1990s in Zimbabwe and Australia, where heat distribution in buildings was based on the process of air circulation inside termite hills. As opposition to controlling and ‘improving’ nature, it learns from her. Biomimicry has the potential to eliminate the harmful factors, as the processes in nature don’t cause any bad effects or produce damaging byproducts.
Everlasting Products Of Nature
Most importantly the products of nature are everlasting, depending on a cyclical life model. Scientists working in the field of biomimicry, (also called biomimetics) analyze models, structures, phenomenons, behaviors in nature, and later they ‘mimic’ and manufacture those processes so that they could be implemented into solutions to nowadays problems. Admirable designs and processes in nature like photosynthesis, self-assembly, natural selection, self-sustaining ecosystems, structures and functions of eyes, ears, skins, and shells, talking neurons, natural medicine are a great basis to learn from.
How Can We Benefit From Implementing Biomimetics?
Implementing nature-based methods could lead to the establishment of a sustainable environment by growing food, making materials, harnessing energy, healing ourselves, even storing information, and doing business in a more natural way.
In order to create a so-called biomimetic world, we should manufacture using sun and simple compounds so that our products: fibers, ceramics, plastics, chemicals, would be totally biodegradable. Changes applied to farms, would result in them being self-fertilizing and pest-resistant. For the creation of new drugs or crops, scientists would examine the relations, processes, and impact of plants on animals and insects. The further development of computing can be achieved by applying the principles of evolution in software, and hardware storing information using the lock-and-key paradigm to compute by touch. The former could be accomplished by using the models present around us in nature for example solar cells in leaves, steely fibers in spiders’ web, ceramics based on pearl structure, perennial grains like in tallgrass, cell signals implemented into computer functioning.
More Sustainable Inventions In Every Area Of Life
Furthermore, wildlife habitats could be an inspiration to make our homes more nature friendly and sustainable. Biomimetics has centered the attention that our invention, has been present in nature for millennia, but without harming the planet and more advanced.
As an example architecture struts and beams appear in lily pads and bamboo stems, central heating and air-conditioning are inspired by termite’s tower structure, most advanced radars are yet not as efficient as the bat’s multifrequency transmission, even the wheel was found in an ancient bacteria, a tiny rotary motor, which propels the flagellum.
Applying Bizzair Nature Mechanisms Through Biomimetics
What is more, some living organisms have developed mechanisms that enable them to survive in hard conditions, e.g. arctic fish and frogs protect their organs from damage during cold temperature, chameleons and cuttlefish can change the patterns of their skin to hide, bees, birds, and turtles are able to navigate perfectly. Even more astonishing are characteristics of whole systems, like tidal marshes or forests, that maintain dynamic stability using resources without waste. Biomimetics is putting its efforts into establishing mathematical, chemical, physical frameworks that are behind those mechanisms so that they could be applied to our inventions.
Existing Biomimetics Solutions To Industrial Problems
There are already many biomimetic solutions applied to industrial problems. The Shinkansen bullet train in Japan with its astonishing speed of 300km/h allows to travel extremely fast, however on the other hand it produces a lot of noise pollution.
When exiting a tunnel the train creates a huge sonic boom, which results in a change of air pressure and therefore the disturbing noise. Local residents found it impossible to live in the vicinity of such an awful source of noise. Engineers’ solution was inspired by the features and abilities of the Kingfisher.
The bird thanks to its elongated beak is able to travel between mediums of water and air without creating almost any splash while hunting for prey. The train was redesigned and equipped with a long beak-shaped nose at the front of the train. It led to reducing the noise as well contributed to a 15% decrease in electricity usage and 10% increase in speed.
Features Of Whales Used For Tubercle Technology Products
Furthermore, the amazing features of whales were the primer incentive to develop many tubercle technology products, finding applications in wind turbines, hydroelectric turbines, irrigation pumps, and ventilation pumps. The humpback whale in spite of its enormous weight of 36 tonnes is able to gracefully swim, dive and jump in the sea.
His aerodynamic abilities are linked with the bumpy protrusions on the front of his fins, called tubercles. Whales use their fins at different angles to increase their lift, the same principle is adopted in aircraft wings. The bumpy blades allow the whales to achieve higher angles without stalling. It enables them to circle and entrap their prey in a ‘net’ of bubbles. The formerly mentioned revelations of whales led to the development of serrated-edge turbines, which after testing and comparison to smooth-edge turbines turned out to be more efficient and quieter.
Biomimicry Discovering The Attributes Of Sharkskin
Another amazing discovery of biomimicry is the attributes of the sharkskin. The uniqueness of the microscopic patterns of denticles on the skin of sharks is a crucial factor contributing to the reduction of drag. NASA scientists copied the biological patterns and developed a ‘riblets’ film, which lowers drag and prevents from attaching microorganisms to the surface covered with such film.
The sharkskin film is used in coatings for ship hulls, marine vessels, aircraft, and also in swimwear for humans. The riblets are beneficial to the environment and industry by conserving energy and money. In big machines minimizing friction results in enormous amounts of fuel reduction, which further leads to saving a lot of money in both the short- and the long run.
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As far as biomimicry is concerned, an organization, which has to be mentioned is the Biomimicry Institute founded in 2006 by Janine Benyus, author of the book „Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by nature” the first to distinguish this field, is channeling countries across the globe to promote ideas, designs, and strategies of biomimicry.
The institute has created a global network, which connects the same mission in 21 countries and 36 regional networks in the world with 12576 participants. The institute encourages them to start their own networks to form an even bigger net. Regional Networks operate on a local level with the goal of improving communities’ condition by overcoming sustainability challenges. Many professionals, specialists join the communities to help the environment.
Biomimetics Technology Show Promising For Energy-Saving Technologies
The biomimetic technologies and advanced biomaterials are very promising in finding solutions for many complex diseases. However, the most influential incentive that is driving this market is the reduction of costs by applying more energy-saving technologies. The global biomimetic technology market is established to reach high stakes.
Biomimicry Technology To Reach $18.5 Market Size
BIS Research is predicting that this market will reach $18.5 billion by 2028. The bio-inspired technologies with their increasing impact will transform the industry, environment, and medicine. The demand will rise especially in sectors like medicine and defense. In the medical industry there have been distinguished consecutive fields of application: prosthetics, drug delivery, tissue engineering, wound healing. In robotics, it can affect the specialization of search & rescue, surveillance, underwater research, security and safety, traffic monitoring.
The Leaders Of Biomimetics
The leader in the biomimetic market is the North American region accounting for a market revenue share of 46.7% in 2017, focusing on medical biomimicry and robotic development. The runner-up is Europe, with Germany driving the biomimetic nano drones market, where nano drones have become valuable tools in defense activities. Environmental policies in countries have influenced the development of biomimicry, especially in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Canada.
Although we as humans have changed our surroundings to live and work behind closed walls, there is a deeply rooted urge to experience nature. Fortunately, biomimicry shows us there is still so much to learn from natural phenomenons, materials, animal features, and abilities. Nature-inspired technologies carry with them the relief of environmental problems that industrial inventions have caused. The challenges have escalated so that our life as a species could be endangered. For our own sakes and for the sake of the wealth of natures’ gifts, we should be acting responsible and humble towards our environment. Instead of exploiting and using up natural resources, we ought to learn from our natural environment.