“Biomimicry is a new way of viewing and valuing nature. It introduces a new era based not on what we can extract from natural wealth, but what we can learn from it”
As the quote from the above video says, Biomimicry is a developing scientific field of study that is focused on developing technologies inspired from natural objects/beings (plants, animals, etc). Nature has taken 3.5 billion years to create beings that exist today, through its process of evolution. Engineers and scientists acknowledge this and seek to create/optimize systems and processes, by mimicking or imitating the natural ones closely.
Biomimicry/Bionics is nothing new. Wright Brothers closely observed the flight principles of pigeons to design their first aircraft. Even today, scientists have redesigned the wings of airplanes watching how different birds fly at different speeds/elevations. The wings of the airplanes change automatically based on environmental conditions in order to make the airplane fly more efficiently!
There are display technologies today that mimic the effect created by butterfly wings shimmering. They take the ambient light that strike the surface and modulate it before sending it back, creating a vivid reflection-based front-lit display that doesn’t affect the eyes even when we view from it for a long time. It is also more energy-efficient, unlike the popular back-lit displays that we are used to, today.
As shown in the first video, large solar panels fold into small satellites and expand from it (once they are in space) using a technique similar to the folding of large flowers within small buds. Someone designed solar panels to be mounted similar to the pattern followed by tree leaves/branches, to achieve increased power-conversion efficiencies. After all, leaves/branches are arranged in a way that helps them get maximum sun-light exposure.
Here, you can find a few more visual examples showing how biomimicry has been imbibed into technological innovations in order to create better systems or solve existing engineering problems. From now on, if you are an Engineer and your passion is in ornithology, people may not look at you strangely. You may even be in high-demand!
Nature has the answer to almost every question/every problem we face. Instead of observing/learning from nature, we humans are adamant about over-exploiting its resources, creating a scarcity for everyone. Sustainable living, is not only a better way to live, but it’s also a philosophy. A philosophy that believes, less is more.