Have you ever heard the word “Biomimicry”? It appeared in the scientific literature in 1962 to define the process of mimicking the basic functions of biological forms and systems, in a way to invent a solution to a problem.
Then, biomimicry was popularized by scientist and author Janine Benyus in 1997 in her book “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature”. In the book, biomimicry was defined as a new science that studies nature’s models and imitates those designs to solve human problems. Janine Benyus said, “Learning about the natural world is one thing. Learning from the natural world – that’s the switch. That’s the profound switch.” She included this in the Forbes article published on July 12th, 2020.
In short, biomimicry is an approach to create innovations to find solutions that can answer future problems by mimicking patterns that are already present in nature. The purpose of biomimicry is to achieve a new product, process, and means for us to live and adapt to the earth over long periods. Now, some innovations has been created through biomimicry approach, some of which are as follows:
The Shinkansen Train
The Shinkansen train was inspired by the kingfisher. When diving into the water for prey, kingfisher causes very little splash. It solves the problem of noise, saves 15% of energy, and can even make the train go 10% faster.
Tsunami Warning Devices
Inspired by dolphin communication, EvoLogic developed underwater sensors that emit high-frequency signals to detect and report underwater earthquakes as a tsunami warning.
LED (Light – Emitting Diode)
The innovation was inspired by firefly. The firefly’s light is so bright because its anatomical structure is jagged like scales. Scientists mimic the abdominal structure of firefly to increase the efficiency of the LED lights by 55 %.
Solar panels of solar power are inspired by the leaf organs. The leaves use the sun’s energy in the photosynthesis process precisely in the mesophile palisade to produce chemical energy (food). Solar electric panel techniques have a section called photovoltaic that is capable of converting light energy into electrical energy.
Velcro is inspired by the thorns of the burdocks burns clinging to the hair of dogs. Velcro is a device that ties two sides of fabric that are commonly used on shoes and bags.
The Fuel Cell Layer of the Car
In 2016, cactus stomata also inspired a researcher from CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and Hanyang University in Korea to invent a layer that can open when hot weather and close when cold. This layer could be a potential fuel layer for cars.
Nature provides models, measures, and mentors for humans to develop technology to be more modern. Humans should also consider some things such as how will we utilize energy to be environmentally friendly, creating technologies that can make a lot of money, yet benefit many. Not only that, biomimicry inspires humans to preserve and perpetuate what humans learned in the past for the future.
Benyus J. 1997. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. New York: Harper Collins.
Aziz MS, El Sherif AY. 2016. Biomimicry as an approach for bio-inspired structure with the aid of computation. Alexandria Engineering Journal. 55:707-714.
(Mohd Shahril Bin Ab Sahak, Biomimicry in Architectural Sustainable Approach journal)
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Penulis : Silmi Nurul Utami
Editor : Rigel Raimarda