January 2012

Monthly Archive

Beetle Velcro

Posted by on 30 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Via my friend Scott Mize: Advanced Materials reports on a  reversible mechanical interlocker inspired from the wing locking device of beetles.

The interlocker is highly flexible and displays an extremely high shear locking force of ∼40 N/cm2 as well as an easy normal lift-off.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstractThe image shows an illustration for the wing-locking device of beetles that is operated by interconnecting densely-populated microhairs (termed microtrichia) on the cuticular surface.  Continued… (subscription required)…

Solar Sails

Posted by on 25 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: cleantech, transport

Proposed solar sail installation on an Australian mining company bulk carrier

10 years ago invested in an Australian company pioneering hybrid power systems for marine vessels, starting with ferries but ambitions much larger…like oil tanker large. A decade later they may finally have a customer:

Roughly 50,000 ships carry 90% of the world’s trade cargo, and these ships tend to burn a heavily polluting oil known as bunker fuel.

“It’s like tar, you have to heat it up to make it liquid so it will flow,” says Mr Dane.

“These incredibly powerful engines run on incredibly cheap but dirty fuel so what we can do in the short-term is to ensure they use less fuel.”

The industry has proved hard for governments to regulate as it does not fall into one jurisdiction, however the United Nations International Maritime Organization has recently introduced new regulations on fuel efficiency and sulphur emissions that could drive demand for Solar Sailor’s technology.

Continued at http://www.bbc.co.uk

 

 

Apple Aims to “reinvent the biology textbook”

Posted by on 19 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry, personal comments

Apple's new digital textbook service called iBooks 2 has been released.

For 20+ years we’ve been talking about the role of computers in transforming education. Today’s iBooks announcement is another step in the right direction, especially when Apple launches with a biology book!

Schiller was particularly excited about announcing a partnership with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, saying they aim to “reinvent the biology textbook”.The first E.O. Wilson title, Life on Earth, will be exclusive to iBooks. Continued at: http://techcrunch.com/ and the google.


Frog Chooses Biomimicry as Tech Trend for 2012

Posted by on 14 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry

Frog, one of the world’s leading design firms, picks Biomimicry as a trend for the coming year

In 2012, we’ll see increasing numbers of scientists, technologists, architects, corporations, and even governments looking to biomimicry—designing objects and systems based on or inspired by patterns in nature—as an efficient innovation strategy. Continued at FrogDesign.com…

The Innovation Genome Project

Posted by on 12 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry, innovation

Meet Bill O’Connor: part of the Corporate Strategy + Engagement team at Autodesk. Bill has a big idea. Actually, much more than an idea. Check it out:

To me the Innovation Genome Project is a way to help us move from Innovation Thinking and Innovation Talking to Innovation Action. Meaning, making your own (and my own) work more innovative. It’s about going beyond innovation as some celestial abstraction shining in the sky, and transforming it into an energized, tough-minded, exhilarating real-world thing to do to make sure our work has as much positive impact as possible on a world that can use all the innovation it can get.

Continued at: http://www.innovationexcellence.com

To me the Innovation Genome Project is a way to help us move from Innovation Thinking and Innovation Talking to Innovation Action. Meaning, making your own (and my own) work more innovative. It’s about going beyond innovation as some celestial abstraction shining in the sky, and transforming it into an energized, tough-minded, exhilarating real-world thing to do to make sure our work has as much positive impact as possible on a world that can use all the innovation it can get.

Sunflowers Inspire Solar Power

Posted by on 12 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry

 

The Fermat spiral has long fascinated mathematicians who have found that each sunflower floret is turned at a “golden angle” of about 137 degrees with respect to its neighbor. By rearranging the mirrors in a sunflower-like spiral pattern with each mirror angled about 137 degrees relative to its neighbor, the researchers found they could reduce the footprint of the mirrors used in the PS10 layout by 20 percent while increasing the plant’s potential energy generation.

Continued at Gizmag…

Biomimicry Documentary to Screen at Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Posted by on 06 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry


 

Dear Friend of Biomimicry,

As someone who lives in CA, you’re in the vicinity of one of the world’s most exciting film festivals in the country, coming up in a little over a week!We’re thrilled to announce that our documentary Second Nature: The Biomimicry Evolution is screening at the 10th Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival (January 13-15) in Nevada City, CA. We would love for you to attend!

Considered the largest of its kind, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators, and now Biomimicry 3.8’s very own Taryn Mead, Director of Consulting and Biologist at the Design Table (BaDT), to its theaters and halls.

Taryn will take questions after the film and will hold a one-hour workshop titled “Biomimicry in a Nutshell,” that engages participants in a personal exploration of the concepts of biomimicry.Second Nature will screen both Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Taryn’s workshop will be held from 12-1pm Sunday. Colin Mangham, our Chief Marketing Officer, and an occasional filmmaker himself, will also be in attendance and eager to chat about all things Biomimicry 3.8. You can find a schedule of events and information on tickets, directions, and more on the Wild & Scenic Film Festival website.If you’re unable to attend the festival in Nevada City, there’s still a chance for you to see our documentary as part of Wild & Scenic Film Festival’s nationwide tour. Check their tour calendar for more details.We hope you’ll consider making the trip to Nevada City to watch Second Nature , meet Taryn and Colin, and participate in an event that celebrates the natural world and the individuals working to protect and preserve it for future generations. See you at the movies!

AskNature Nugget

Posted by on 05 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry

More amazing stuff from nature, via the latest Biomimicry Institute Newsletter:

This month’s Nugget focuses on the pistol shrimp, which stuns its prey using a fast and powerful…wait for it…bubble! But this isn’t just any bubble. Watch Janine Benyus, our co-founder and Biologist at the Design Table (BaDT), explain cavitation and how the tiny marine shrimp uses a bubble in a most ingenious way. You’ll find a fresh Nugget in every issue of our newsletter, and each one will, by definition, ask, “What would nature do?”

 

Lower Cost Learning

Posted by on 03 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: Education

Three interesting classes came to my attention today, each focused on high quality teaching for a mass audience – no doubt inspired at least in part by http://www.khanacademy.org/.

 

Flight Assembled Architecture

Posted by on 02 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: 3D Printing, enablers

Shape of things to come – welcome to 2012!

Titled “Flight Assembled Architecture,” the live installation showcases a fleet of quadrocopters building a six meter-high tower made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules.

http://www.gizmag.com/frac-flying-robots-build-6-meter-tower/20977/