Fog-catching technologies have been used for centuries to gather moisture in deserts; we’ve even explored how they might mitigate the effects of drought. But the issue with introducing them into our cities is a matter of scale: Fog catchers need to be particularly large to catch a significant amount of water, and it’s…
What happens when you put snakes on a plane? No, not with Samuel L. Jackson – on a steep inclined plane. Generally, the animals will begin to slide down. But they can halt their fall by actively changing the positioning of their scales to increase friction. Knowing this has allowed robotic engineers to build better…
Flies and beetles sense the world using organs that humans only dream of. In this gorgeous microscopy video, University of Cambridge materials scientist Chris Forman explains what the foot of a fruitfly and the antenna of a beetle have in common with your nose and hands.
University of Cambridge materials scientist Chris Forman shows us the eyes of a beetle and a fruit fly in a way you've never seen them before. That's not just because they're electrograph images, which reveal the eyes in amazing detail. Forman also offers a quick introduction to biomimesis, or using biology to…
Do 'eyelid seatbelts' intrigue you? Of course they do. Find out why this strange anatomical feature allows woodpeckers to smack a tree with their faces thousands of times a day without breaking themselves to pieces.
Scientists have developed a camera that's as flexible as an eyeball with all the zooming power of a conventional camera. And it's only the size of a nickel.
When training a future robot overlord, you want it to learn to make complex decisions. No one likes an android whose only call is ‘shoot it.' Neural networks allow problem solving, prioritizing, and hopefully mercy.
Eco-friendly structures don't have to look like ugly gray boxes. In fact, saving the enviromment can inspire some of the best design out there. Here are five ways biomimetics takes the elegance of nature, and makes it work for us.
Ken Rinaldo shows us what happens when science meets art and goes nuts.
Modern biomimesis makes solar cells grow like plants, molecules walk like people, and art run like centipedes. But it's a very old science. Take a look at ancient engineers who made lifelike machines fight, sing, flirt, and yes, poop.
Theo Jansen makes art that runs on air. Air, and merciless, swift mechanical legs.
Scientists at MIT mimic plant processes to build solar cells that renew themselves like living beings.
Apple thought they were so smart when they started making computers that came in different colors. Now, inspired by the noble gecko, scientists may have found a way to print electronics on leather. Count down to the iWhip.