A Biomimicry Buzz Around Bee Flight and Turbochargers

The springtime forage of the bee from flower-to-flower will pique the engineer’s mind.  How does that bee fly? With the increases in forced induction automotive engines, turbocharger compressor vanes and turbines, or supercharger rotors could realize unique efficiency enhancements through biomimicry and the knowledge of insect flight.

A Biomimicry Buzz Around Bee Flight and Turbochargers

The Biomimicry Buzz at SAE World Congress Event

SAE WCX 2019 showcases automotive examples of current and future biomimicry innovations from Goodyear, Bendix, and Eaton along with the expertise of Great Lakes Biomimicry and the Biomimicry Resource Innovation Center of University of Akron.

The Biomimicry Buzz at SAE World Congress Event
Rich AltherrComment

Spiders Can Teach Us About Mobility

Smaller spiders use a hydraulic catapult method to move whereas larger spiders rely on a combination of a hydraulic catapult and muscle-based contraction. The spider’s locomotion could inspire through biomimicry flexible off-road vehicle mobility.

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Spiders Can Teach Us About Mobility
Rich AltherrComment

Cucumbers and the Coiling Conundrum

Climbing plant tendrils of cucumbers coil with a unique solution to prevent twists and knots. This coil design provides engineers with biomimicry optimizing opportunities on mobility application and mechanical equipment.

Rich AltherrComment
Cucumbers and the Coiling Conundrum

Charlotte's Web-less Cousin and Biomimetic Vibration Sensing

The wandering spider’s hunting prowess relies on a unique structure called a lyriform organ to sense vibrations transmitted through the plant. A spider-like lyriform strain gauge sensor could improve future applications in the communication and medical industry.

Charlotte's Web-less Cousin and Biomimetic Vibration Sensing
Rich AltherrComment

The Acrobatic Bat and Its Sensing Hairs

As the only mammal capable of winged flight, the highly skillful bat hovers and tackles 180 degree turns at 200 degrees/second yet uses 20-25% less power than birds.  How is this unique mammal capable of the same maneuvers as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels? 

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The Acrobatic Bat and Its Sensing Hairs

Butterfly Kisses and Solar Energy

The butterfly is just one of many insects and crustaceans that implement structural color.  The butterfly’s structural color provides inspiration for efficient solar cells and could be expanded from solar cells to other photonics systems or even into the field of magnetics and optics.  What else will Nature teach us in 2017?

Butterfly Kisses and Solar Energy
Rich AltherrComment

2017: A Year of Elephant Empathy

As 2016 draws to a close, I reserved some reflection time prior to 2017’s grand opening.  The elephant has been shown to manifest empathy much like primates.  Perhaps 2017 could be the year of the elephant to re-invigorate our empathy in 2017. 

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2017: A Year of Elephant Empathy
Rich AltherrComment

The Wisdom of Trees

Architects have long been inspired by the beauty of tree-like forms in buildings and bridges, but engineers can take the next step to look to trees for engineering design cues. What wisdom do these trees behold?

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The Wisdom of Trees