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Bio-mimicry and Nature Integration

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Inspiration can come from multiple place, but a common engineering inspiration is from the animals and nature surrounding us.

Disclaimer: This is just a theory and not a proven fact backed-up with credible data.

The Beginning:

Back then, people always looked to the anatomy of other living organisms for design inspiration. By mimicking the structure of existing anime and nature, we are able to design much more quicker than from scratch with trail and error. Some useful articles, journals, and links are provided below.




Oh man! There doesn't seem to be much information with regards to scientific data released for free. I'm guessing this topic is fairly new or put under secret studies for higher education and intellectual stunting.

When you want to design something from scratch, you usually look to old references from memory and try to create something out of it. I will show examples of what I mean with my drawing and inspiration and hope that you can do the same. Nature is a stepping stone for us to develop much more better designs. Nature is even somewhat shaped in a better way than how we humans handle problems such as ants versus our highway system. 

Biomimicry of Vehicles:

This may be a coincidence or not, but I can imagine some military vehicles definitely take form of some animals. Below I will draw and sketch about three of them as a demonstration of what I mean.

A sketch for biomimicry of an elephant to a tank

As you can see, big organisms are great examples of creating mighty vehicles. A super carrier could be a design mixture of a blue whale and an elephant: the body (hull) of the whale but the surface of an elephant. Other times, maybe we don't have to use nature as the main premise for our design, but it certainly comes pretty close to what we already design than what we can see in nature.

A Great Use of Nature:

One recent advancement that I really like for biomimicry is an invention for renewable energy. 

Solar Tree

They used a tree design to make solar panels more efficient in gathering energy from the sun. It's not a big advancement, but maybe a few tweaks and iterations and it could be quite good. There was another tree design with rotating solar panels to the wind whilst gathering energy from the sun as well (I don't remember what it was called). 

Another example could be our roofs on our homes or buildings. The design of homes and the tiles remind me of the scales of a fish. The scales of a fish make it easier for the fish to swim through water, much like how we design the roof to deter water by design and being a bit slanted.

More of Nature's Solution into Miniscule or VLSI:

One things about systems and VLSI (very large scale integration) is that the design can often lead to extremely complex mechanics. However, if we can take smaller organic anatomies such as a leaf, we can better create and implement smarter designs. Let me illustrate the leaf example I am referring to in terms to an electrical circuit design.

Merging Biomimicry With Other Designs:

In the advancement of technology, maybe we are stuck in a design slump or can't seem to improve our design to be better than before... We can look to other nature-like things and try to incorporate different good things of the anatomy into creating a better anatomy for our design. When we tweak our designs from existing designs we can learn from the previous design and recalculate better constraints. Design constraints could be a certain value you really must have for the design to fit a certain criteria. However, we can still take different designs based off nature and transform it. One example is although we know a bird is a perfect reference for an airplane, maybe we can also use the similar wingspan of a butterfly or another insect to have a higher hover or floating airtime (hang time).

Furthering The Design to Micro-Solutions:

Circuits are notorious for being complex on their own. In nature a complex structure that could match a circuit is the human brain, roots of an old tree, or a cloud.

We can also look at smaller organisms to design our smaller robots and micro-bots. By studying the effects of nature with smaller anatomies we can possibly tweak them to even become useful for products. A simple example could be a worm. A worm can be used to design a tube or special medical devices based on its structure. Although there isn't much research in integrating nature to help with micro-solution for technology, it may be a good time to start trying, since Moore's law is becoming noticeable.

Bio-mimicry and Nature Integration:

By taking certain animal colonies, we can study how they interact with each other and create our own system to regulate our own flow of humans. Much like the ant and highway example mentioned in the beginning, maybe we can use nature's solutions and apply that to our own problems. If we wanted to gather and spread information for a digital system, maybe we can copy the gathering and distribution of bees pollinating flowers. There are many more examples of integrating nature and bio-mimicry to our world, but hopefully we can also look to developing technology that is nature efficient and friendly. Another good one is instead of creating energy from oil, gas, fossil fuels, and such, we can harness the already abundant energy of volcanoes.

Thank You:

Although this article is quite short, I may continue to add more information when I find and learn more about this topic and its impact in the STEM field. I hope you were able to learn something new.

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