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Coral and Bioluminescent Bacteria Lighting – Lighting designs have been inspired by the structure of coral, creating a more aesthetically pleasing and adjustable lamp while bioluminescent bacteria is being studied as a non-electricity consuming lighting alternative with much less carbon dioxide emissions than conventional means.
Kingfisher Bird Bullet Train – The Kingfisher Bird’s ability to enter a body of water without a splash inspired the re-design of a Japanese high-speed train, dramatically decreasing the noise it caused when entering and exiting tunnels.
Lobster Eye Telescope – UK astronomers are designing a revolutionary new x-ray space telescope based on the lobster’s ability to observe objects all around it without turning its head.
Namib Beetle Self-Filling Water Bottle – The Namib Beetle is able to survive in one of the hottest and most arid places on Earth by collecting water droplets on its back from the air and fog, a technique that is being applied to a variety of surfaces to collect water in water-stressed areas. Scientists hope to further harness this technique to develop a self-filling water bottle that optimizes the collection of condensation.
Snail Shell Protective Equipment – The strong exoskeletal structure of a Scaly-Foot Snail is inspiring the design of protective equipment such as military body armour and bicycle helmets.
Burr Velcro – The way burrs attach to a dog’s fur gave Swiss electrical engineer, George de Mestral, the idea for the design of Velcro.
Penguin Feather Textiles – The insulating properties of penguin feathers as well as the microstructures found on them are inspiring the development of ice-proof, insulating textiles and materials.
Butterfly Solar Panels – Researchers are improving the efficiency of thin film solar cells by mimicking the structure of Rose Butterfly wings which use small holes that help to scatter the light striking them, thereby allowing the butterfly to better absorb the sun’s heat.
Honey Comb Airless Tires – The structure of honeycomb has inspired the design of airless tires with minimal density and the ability to conform to uneven terrain and still function after numerous punctures, thereby significantly extending the useful life of the product. These airless tires also use fewer materials and are easier to repair and recycle.