Nature is the mother of all inventions. Some of the most marvelous and compelling innovations have been made since yore by astute observers, the major breakthroughs being, airplanes inspired by a birds, helicopters from insects like dragonflies, postulation of “Gravitational pull” based on a falling apple, tools modeled from claws or breaks of birds and animals, or for that matter submarines from deep water fishes.
Biomimicry is one such discipline of science that deals with the study of nature, in terms of processes, like photosynthesis, plants, animals, the natural processes and the environment as a whole, to as to invent technologies that are inspired with nature, that can be utilized to harness energy from natural resources and account for a better living.
1. Leaf Concept
A humble leaf, when studied carefully, was the antecedent for development of a technique whereby water is collected and supplied to households. A structure, “LEAF”, a self generating water resource, was developed by scientists which emulated the dew drop formation, as exists in nature, utilizing solar energy the upper part of the LEAF generates electricity which keeps it cool, so as when during nights, the air touches its surface, the water condenses, this water in the form of dew drops is collected in earthen pots and filtered through sand and carbon filters and the water thus becomes ready for consumption. It is interesting to note that 20 liters of water can be collected in just 24 hours!
2. Green Cab
An eco friendly car, designed by Hamzan Malik, as the name suggests is a modest means of commutation which utilizes solar panels, attached on the top of the vehicle and kinetic energy generated from the movement of the wheels, to charge the batteries placed in the rear compartment. This might not be a very aesthetic or comfortable ride, but surely if one enjoys nature, the car is “open roofed” and “sky lit”.
3. Nature-inspired sustainable tower for ITC
HKS architectural firm, a pioneer in conceiving “out of the box” ideas, has conceptualized a “Green Building” for ITC’s 24 storeyed corporate office soon to be constructed in Bangalore. The facade of the building would be doubly insulated to protect from extreme heat. The vegetation spanning across entire height would give it a “green effect.” The pyramid shape of the tower would allow for air to be drawn into the structure together with operable cross ventilation windows which would be easily controlled by the employees. The building once complete will be a state of art technological marvel, a benchmark in how effective ecofriendly structures can be equally alluring to work and live in.
4. Jellyfish-inspired organic air purifier
Luke Riggall conceptualized and developed an air purifier inspired by a jellyfish. This innovation has the potential to make it to the top of the list of ecofriendly home architectural solutions. The structure is light weight and has a shell which absorbs natural sunlight to glow in dark. A special liquid is filled inside the body of the device, which when reacts chemically, emits heat and fragrance that purifies the room. The heat thus generated, fills the air pockets on the underside and the device floats. The heat generated on the underside and the upper side of the body balance each other and keep the device afloat, contractions on the upper side make it work like a jellyfish would, and deters it from being hit by the side walls or the roof. It is a captivating concept.
5. Electricity Pylons inspired by nature
Architect Dietmar Koering from Arphenotype architectural firm conceptualized electricity transmitting pylons with his unconventional and highly imaginative ideas. The pylon, inspired by human body, appears to be modeled on a human, has an ascetic appeal attached to it which replaces those monstrous electric poles we see across cities. The poles would vary from 17 to 32 meters depending on the topography and latitudinal and or longitudinal positions. The pylon would be made from an aramide fibre matrix bounded with eco resin and painted with a reflective material so that it can be easily maintained and cleaned by wind, rain, and other natural agents. These pylons would be one of its kind, prefabricated in factories and erected on foundations at the site. The size, shape, and thickness of the pylons would be flexible and calculated according to the need and physical conditions of the site. When through, the first pylons would be fabricated for a site in Iceland.