Kingfisher

The transport industry has been developed by using biomimicry to make it more efficient, faster, and more fuel efficient.  Transportation is one of the most important things humans would find a lot of trouble living with-out and through biomimicry engineers are learning how to break through boundaries just from studies of the kingfisher and how it lands on top of water to catch fish with barely any splash or noise. This technology is currently being used in the improvements of both the speed and electricity consumption of the fastest train in the world ,the Shinkansen Bullet Train. This is the fastest train in the world, traveling 200 miles per hour.  However air pressure changes produced large thunder claps every time the train emerged from a tunnel, causing residents one-quarter a mile away to complain.  The train’s chief engineer and an avid bird-watcher, asked himself, “Is there something in Nature that travels quickly and smoothly between two very different mediums?” Modelling the front-end of the train after the beak of kingfishers, which dive from the air into bodies of water with very little splash to catch fish, resulted not only in a quieter train, but 15% less electricity use even while the train travels 10% faster.

Nature moves water and air using an exponentially growing locomotion, as commonly seen in seashells. This trend is seen in scientifically all Nature: in the curled up trunks of elephants and tails of chameleons, in the pattern of swirling galaxies in outer space and kelp in ocean surf, and in the shape of the cochlea of our inner ears and our own skin pores. Depending on application, the resulting designs reduce energy usage by a staggering 10-85% over conventional rotors, and noise by up to 75 %.

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Tsunami waves are very rare but one attack could lead to deaths of hundreds or even thousands of people but by the help of dolphins, studying of these waves and others has been made easier as they can now detected 6000metres from water which means days before the waves appear above ground. Dolphins could amazingly recognise calls of specific individuals 25 kilometres away showing their unbelievable ability of communicating and processing massive information through water.

This is a new field of design that processes problems of nature to our everyday life. This natural technology is very important and is used by Engineers, business people, inventors and even researchers to solve a lot of our day to day problems.

Spider Web

spider-web

Nature is filled with design ideas for solving problems and generating new products. In this particular case, spider webs lead the way in providing safety for birds in flight. Practical design ideas do not come by chance or slow change in nature. Instead they were established at creation for our exploration and application.

Spider Web – Bird-Friendly Glass; Hundreds of millions of birds are killed each year across the world by flying directly into window glass. Some window glass is nearly invisible and other surfaces confuse birds by reflecting nearby trees, the sky, or the birds themselves. To address this glass-collision problem, researchers turned their attention to spider webs. Spiders such as the orb weaver construct their webs with a type of silk which reflects ultraviolet light. Our eyes do not detect ultraviolet (UV) light, which is a short-wavelength component of sunlight. UV is a cause of sunburn and is a major component of black light. In contrast to our own optics, insects and birds readily see UV.

The UV-reflecting spider silk serves two purposes. First, it attracts insects to the web. Some spiders actually arrange the UV coating on their webs with flower-like patterns to draw in and trap pollinating insects. As a second purpose, the ultraviolet reflection warns birds to avoid striking the webs and destroying the spider’s ability to capture prey.

The Inspiration for the design came from studying the 3000 species of orb weaver spiders (family Araneidae) which are found throughout the world, including the common garden spiders of North America and Europe. These spiders construct flat webs consisting of concentric circles with spokes radiating out from the center. Females typically build the webs and use them to capture prey. While the webs are known for their remarkable mechanical properties, even the best-built webs are subject to failure if a bird strikes them. In order to protect their investment, some orb weavers decorate their webs with UV-reflective threads called stabilimenta. Though humans cannot perceive UV light, birds can, and research has shown that these UV-reflecting threads reduce the incidence of large birds and wasps crashing into the webs.

The Innovators – Dr. Alfred Meyerhuber, a German attorney with a personal interest in birds and science, read an article in a magazine about orb weaver spiders and their use of stabilimenta. Dr. Meyerhuber was good friends the owner of Arnold Glass, the manufacturer of insulated glass products headquartered in Remshalden, Germany.

Dr. Meyerhuber mentioned the article to Mr. Arnold and encouraged him to research how this biological phenomenon might be applied to glass to prevent birds from striking windows and killing or injuring themselves.  Mr. Arnold was motivated by technical and environmental challenges and looked for ways to set Arnold Glas apart from its competition. When Dr. Meyerhuber brought the orb weaver spider’s strategy to his attention, Mr. Arnold was intrigued. Despite initial resistance by the board of directors, he convinced the company to undertake the necessary research and put his company to work developing a product that would have the same UV-reflecting qualities as spider silk.

Dr. Meyerhuber and Mr. Arnold knew that many birds, fooled by the reflection of trees and sky, simply do not perceive windows as a barrier. With the popularity of expansive windows and glass walls in modern high-rise architecture, bird strikes are a major cause of avian fatalities and kill an estimated 300 million to 1 billion birds globally each year.

Arnold Glas’s Head of Research and Development, Christian Irmscher, led the technical product development of ORNILUX. His charge was to develop a UV-reflective glass coating that would balance visibility to birds and transparency to people by capitalising the human eye’s inability to see UV light. The coating was developed together with technicians at Arnold Glass’sister company, arcon, located in Feuchtwangen, Germany, which specialises in thin low-e and solar coatings for architectural glass. Together they innovated the process and chemistry to apply a patterned coating to glass that is only visible to birds or other organisms that can detect UV light.

References:

http://discoveryofdesign.com/id132.html

https://www.emaze.com/@AZCICZRW/Untitled

ORNILUX bird protection glass, ornilux.com

http://www.ornilux.com/Attachments/CaseStudy_Ornilux_MASTER.pdf

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