Maybe the most famous example of biomimicry is Velcro, developed in the forties by a Swiss engineer who was aggravated to the point of creativity by the burrs that got caught in his dog’s hair. He looked at them under a microscope and noticed the tiny hooks on the ends of the spines, and shortly thereafter, Velcro was born.
For more cool examples, click here.
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/
The Enertia Building System is based on biomimicry.
There are so many great examples, but these are my favorites:
– The redesign of the Shinkansen Bullet Train based on the kingfisher’s beak to increase efficiency & prevent the “boom” that was created by air pressure when it zipped through tunnels
– Hydrophobic surfaces based on the surface of a lotus leaf (perfect example is Lotusan = self cleaning paint)
– Humpback whale fins that inspired more efficient wind turbines (Whalepower)
These case studies can be found at http://www.biomimicryinstitute.org/case_studies.php and more information http://asknature.org/
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