Biomimicry is a design process that studies and learns from nature’s models, then imitates or takes inspiration from natural forms and processes to solve human problems.
Companies that have used biomimicry have reported that the process breaks them free of traditional research and development paradigms, opening a new world of potential innovation by introducing the brilliance of natural solutions. Companies may be able to reduce costs, minimize regulatory oversight, and create unique marketing opportunities.
Biomimetic innovations are helping companies save energy, reduce waste, and create successful products by using the natural world for inspiration. PaxFan, for example, mimics the spiral-shaped flow of natural systems such as tornadoes and whirlpools. The company’s fans increase performance in settings as diverse as wastewater treatment plants and computer cooling systems. Another application has led to success for REGEN Energy, a company that created a wireless energy management system based on the communication strategies of swarming bees. Rather than requiring each device controlled by the wireless system to communicate with one central monitor, REGEN’s
EnviroGrid allows devices within the system to communicate with each other, just as individual bees take their cues from those closest to them when moving in a swarm.
NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, is funding a 2-year program that allows New York State manufacturers to participate in free workshops and consulting on biomimetic design. This
program will bring companies facing energy challenges together with biologists who can provide insight into potential solutions.
Take a look at 15 of the coolest cases of biomimicry, which includes:
11. Friction-Reducing Sharkskin
Terrapin Bright Green