4 Ways Companies Are Hacking Nature to Improve Their Products
In a constantly evolving and innovating world, engineers and designers have started to take inspiration from the natural world for new technologies and more efficient products. It’s a process called biomimicry, in which scientists and engineers find naturally occurring models or designs and apply them to complex human problems. A simple example of biomimicry would be the invention of Velcro, which stole its design from burs that have evolved into a distinct shape that allow them to attach onto passing organisms to spread and reproduce. The makers of Velcro copied the basic design of the bur and applied it to clothing in an ingeniously simple feat of biological hacking.
Businesses and individuals have learned to not simply copy the design of nature but also the qualities of structures, and have managed to reverse-engineer solutions to problems after being inspired by other organisms. Scientists have even begun work in conjunction with governments and military entities to make products that are many times more effective than they were before, all after taking a look at nature and bringing it into the lab. Certain organisms, like spiders, create fibers that are unique to nature and also have incredible qualities not found anywhere else. Science and business have found an appreciation for those qualities and are in the process of bringing them from the lab to the market.
Here is a look at four distinct ways companies are using biomimicry and other methods to pull off a feat of biological hacking to improve their products or create new technologies altogether.