Biomimicry is most often used in science, technology, and the built environment. One of the most famous is velcro. Another famous example would be that of the Wright Brothers and the creation of their first airplane which was modeled after observing pigeons in flight. Many architects also look to nature to design the most effective buildings. Other examples can be found here: http://www.n100best.org/
There are many ways that humans use biomimicry in improving alot of their technologies. One of the most interesting ones is the creation of a bionic car. This bionic car developed by DaimlerChrysler from Mercedes Benz based the shape of the car from a tropical boxfish. Because of its shape, it is believed to lower fuel consumption by 20% and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%.
There is also a new concept of self healing plastics. These plastics are based of the body’s ability to heal itself from scrapes and cuts. These self healing plastics are from hollow fibers filled with epoxy resin that is released if the fibers suffer serious stresses or cracks. This creates a scab nearly as strong as the original material. These plastics could be used to make planes, cars, and even spacecraft lighter, more fuel efficient, and safer.
Here is a list of other potential uses based on biomimicry.
Enertia Homes are based on biomimicry. They have an atmosphere, like the earth.
Here is a link to a great national geographic article on biomimicry. It discusses different things made from biomimicry, like velcro, wind turbines, anti-counterfeiting techniques and even cosmetics. In addition, they have some great images in the gallery to show you the species they are working off of.
My favorite use of biomimicry is a cement plant that mimics coral. This plant actually takes CO2 out of the air to make cement. Other examples include wind turbines that mimic blue whales, wetsuits that mimic shark skin, paints that repel dirt like lotus leaves, velcro/adhesives that mimic gecko feet, and oars that mimic the feet of aquatic animals.
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