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Biomimetics Report Final Version[1]

Biomimetics Report Final Version[1]



great essay by DTI Global Watch Mission. Biomimetics 2007

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    Biomimetics Report Final Version[1] Biomimetics Report Final Version[1] Document Transcript

    • GLOBAL WATCH MISSION REPORT Biomimetics: strategies for product design inspired by nature – a mission to the Netherlands and Germany JANUARY 2007
    • Global Watch Missions DTI Global Watch Missions have enabled small groups of UK experts to visit leading overseas technology organisations to learn vital lessons about innovation and its implementation, of benefit to entire industries and individual organisations. By stimulating debate and informing industrial thinking and action, missions have offered unique opportunities for fast-tracking technology transfer, sharing deployment know-how, explaining new industry infrastructures and policies, and developing relationships and collaborations. Disclaimer This report represents the findings of a mission organised by Thoughtcrew Ltd on behalf of Faraday Packaging Partnership (FPP) with the support of DTI. Views expressed reflect a consensus reached by the members of the mission team and do not necessarily reflect those of the organisations to which the mission members belong, Thoughtcrew Ltd, FPP , Pera or DTI. Comments attributed to organisations visited during this mission were those expressed by personnel interviewed and should not be taken as those of the organisation as a whole. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this report is accurate and up to date, DTI accepts no responsibility whatsoever in relation to this information. DTI shall not be liable for any loss of profits or contracts or any direct, indirect, special or consequential loss or damages whether in contract, tort or otherwise, arising out of or in connection with your use of this information. This disclaimer shall apply to the maximum extent permissible by law. Cover image: Glass sponge (Euplectella) skeleton, formed by silica spicules that unite into complex geometric structures (Ken M Highfill/Science Photo Library)
    • Biomimetics: strategies for product design inspired by nature – a mission to the Netherlands and Germany REPORT OF A DTI GLOBAL WATCH MISSION JANUARY 2007 1
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 4 3.5.3University of Groningen, 14 the Netherlands – University 1 INTRODUCTION 5 of Cambridge, UK 3.5.4 Institute for Textile 15 1.1 Background 5 Technology and Process 1.2 Mission aims 5 Engineering (ITV Denkendorf), 1.3 Objectives 6 Germany 1.4 Coordinating body 6 3.5.5 DaimlerChrysler Research 16 1.5 Mission location 6 and Technology, Ulm, Germany 1.6 Mission participants 7 3.5.6 Max Planck Institute for 16 Metals Research, Evolutionary 2 BACKGROUND TO BIOMIMETICS 8 Biomaterials Group, Stuttgart, Germany 2.1 Introduction 8 3.5.7 University of Freiburg, 17 2.2 Flight 9 Plant Biomechanics Group, 2.3 Architecture 10 Germany 2.4 Textiles 11 3.5.8 Max Planck Institute of 17 2.5 Typical topics 11 Colloids and Interfaces, 2.6 Information retrieval 11 Potsdam, Berlin, Germany 3.5.9 BIOKON/EvoLogics GmbH, 18 3 EXAMPLES OF BIOMIMETIC 13 F&E Labor Bionik, Berlin, APPLICATIONS: BIOLOGICALLY Germany INSPIRED PACKAGING 3.5.10 University of Applied 18 Sciences, Magdeburg- 3.1 Introduction 13 Stendal, Germany 3.2 Objective 13 3.5.11 Dr Mirtsch GmbH, Teltow, 19 3.3 Biomimetics in packaging 13 Berlin, Germany 3.4 Industrial mission delegates and 13 3.5.12 INPRO, Berlin, Germany 19 biomimetics 3.6 Summary 19 3.4.1 ColepCCL, Laupheim, 13 3.7 Conclusions 20 Germany 3.4.2 COSi – Creative Outsourcing 13 4 APPLICATION OF BIOMIMETICS 21 Solutions International, UK IN OTHER INDUSTRIES 3.4.3 Procter & Gamble/Gillette, 14 Reading, UK 4.1 Introduction 21 3.5 Applications and opportunities in 14 4.2 Architecture 21 biomimetic packaging encountered 4.3 Automotive 21 during the mission 4.4 Healthcare 23 3.5.1 Philips, Eindhoven, the 14 4.5 Dry adhesives 23 Netherlands 4.6 Discussion 24 3.5.2 DEAM – University of Delft, 14 4.7 Samples of biomimetics related 24 the Netherlands to industry 2
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4.7.1 Steerable endoscope 25 8 CONCLUSIONS AND 42 4.7.2 Adaptive braided bag filter 26 RECOMMENDATIONS 4.7.3 Fin ray 26 4.7.4 Acoustic camera 27 8.1 Conclusions 42 4.7.5 Bionic propeller 28 8.2 Recommendations 42 4.7.6 Plants as concept generators 28 4.7.7 Self-healing structures 29 APPENDICES 44 5 COMMERCIAL VALUE OF 30 A Suggestions for further reading 44 BIOMIMETICS B Host organisations 45 C Mission participants 47 5.1 Commercial case for biomimetic 30 D List of exhibits 56 solutions E Glossary 58 5.1.1 Devices 30 F Acknowledgments 60 5.1.2 Optimisation 31 5.1.3 Functional surfaces 31 5.2 Role of funding 31 5.3 Incubators and consortia 33 5.4 Discussion and conclusions 33 6 BIOMIMETICS AND PRODUCT 35 DESIGN 6.1 Introduction 35 6.2 A technique, not a style 35 6.3 What product designers should 35 know 6.3.1 Who does what? 36 6.4 What is the appeal to designers? 36 6.5 The commercial case 37 6.6 Conclusions 37 7 INTEGRATING BIOMIMETICS 38 INTO PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT 7.1 Introduction 38 7.2 Processes 38 7.2.1 Top-down process 38 7.2.2 Bottom-up process 39 7.3 Tools 40 7.4 Conclusions and recommendations 40 3
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This DTI Global Watch Mission to Germany However, they do not seem to be significantly and the Netherlands during 15-19 January further forward in terms of real products on 2007 was coordinated by Thoughtcrew Ltd1 the shelf although there was a better link – an associate member of the Faraday between fundamental research and the Packaging Partnership (FPP).2 The vision for creation of prototypes. the mission came from Professor Julian Vincent3 of the University of Bath who has There is a real opportunity to create a critical been actively involved in the study of mass of thinking, research and commercial biomimetics for the last 15 years. Having acumen at the European level, driven by reached 64 during the mission week it the UK. seemed time to formally recognise the potential contribution of biomimetics to The future industry in the UK. This mission was a milestone in the evolution Globally there are four key centres of of biomimetics in the UK. Whilst there have research in biomimetics: the UK, Germany, been a significant number of research the Netherlands and the USA. Germany leads endeavours in centres such as Bath and the way in terms of taking an integrated Reading the UK has struggled to achieve approach that embraces research and critical mass to get ideas from the lab onto commercial application. Over €30 million the shelves. (~£20 million) has been invested by the German Government in the development of a The mission provided the catalyst to create a network of competence. European initiative to deliver the benefits of biomimetics. The intention of the mission The mission team discovered that in the team is to start with the packaging and Netherlands the situation was similar to that product development opportunity under the found in the UK. There were a number of umbrella of the FPP The team has already . leading research institutes and commercial secured enthusiastic support from the organisations applying biomimetic concepts organisations met on the mission and intend to developing product and design ideas. offering this as a channel of knowledge to UK However, these efforts were isolated and, businesses that wish to use biomimetics to unlike BIONIS4 in the UK, the Netherlands help them think, design and produce profit. does not have a network to share ideas. In Germany the BIOKON5 network has a much bigger footprint in terms of marketing efforts, organisation and knowledge transfer. 1 Thoughtcrew Ltd: www.thoughtcrew.net 2 Faraday Packaging Partnership (FPP): www.faradaypackaging.com 3 Professor Julian Vincent, University of Bath: www.bath.ac.uk/mediaexpertise/julianvincent.htm 4 BIONIS (Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability): www.extra.rdg.ac.uk/eng/BIONIS 5 BIOKON (Bionik-Kompetenz-Netz – Bionics Competence Network): www.biokon.net 4
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background should offer additional functionality such as 1.2 Mission aims extra shelf life. Sustainability is also becoming 1.3 Objectives a key driver both through legislative 1.4 Coordinating body requirements and consumer demand. 1.5 Mission location 1.6 Mission participants Biomimetics is ‘sold’ on the promise of innovations with a shorter development time. 1.1 Background The novelty is due to the different ways in which biology implements various physical The mission studied the development and and chemical principles and the different application of biomimetics6 by industry and routes it uses to solve the problems we also commerce in Germany and the Netherlands see in our technology. The mission therefore and explored the development and value of concentrated on the ease with which generic design rules and procedures which technical and design advances can be made can be drawn from nature. using biology as a paradigm. Good design is fundamental to the success 1.2 Mission aims of consumer products in today’s marketplace. Significant competitive advantage can be This mission aimed to explore a range of gained from focusing on introducing technological, design and commercial issues strategies for innovation in the new product relating to the application of biomimetic development process. Influencing the design design principles and concepts: of the packaging for this type of product is also important as it frequently acts as a key • Increase awareness in the UK FMCG (fast- marketing tool at the point of sale. moving consumer goods) and related industry about the commercial benefits of However, packaging has many functions which biomimetics and hence support growth in must be considered during the design process: UK supply chains from product concept through to final product • Containing the product to allow transport • Promote application of biomimetics to to point of sale consumer products and their packaging, in • Protecting products from external particular in relation to food, household, contamination to ensure freshness and personal care and pharmaceuticals prevent unwanted tampering • Informing the consumer regarding the The benchmarks gathered during the mission contents and their impacts are both technical and commercial. The • Marketing the product at point of sale technical benchmarks relate to the ability of the technologies to deliver competitive The changing landscape of consumer advantage in terms of cost or performance in expectations means that packaging must be the targeted applications. The commercial easy to open, convenient, attractive and often benchmarks look at the process by which 6 The term ‘bionics’ is used in Germany – this is synonymous with the UK term ‘biomimetics’ 5
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE companies have developed the technology formed in 1997 as one of the original Faraday from concept to commercial production. The Partnerships funded by the Engineering and role of academic research, government Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding and private-sector partnerships and and DTI. Since then it has established a strong finance are included. fee-paying membership base made up primarily of international brand owners in the 1.3 Objectives consumer products arena and packaging producers, along with world-leading specialist The objectives of the mission were to: suppliers. Confident of its immediate future, FPP has recently embarked on an expansion • Gain awareness of the state of programme as a specialist application node to development in biomimetics research in the newly formed Materials Knowledge leading European countries – eg who is Transfer Network (KTN) managed on behalf of driving this research, how effectively is it DTI by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and translated into commercial benefits? Mining (IOM3). • Identify mechanisms of networking or information access to improve industry The wide-ranging membership base provided awareness, and links between academia FPP with a unique platform from which to and industry/end users draw members of the mission and more • Mine key successful case studies – such as importantly to ensure dissemination and the DaimlerChrysler ‘bionic car’ – and uptake of the outcome. In particular the full assess the level of commercial benefits portfolio of dissemination mechanisms derived from applying biomimetic established by FPP will be used to generate principles, and identify the mechanisms and interest and engagement and provide core routes by which benefits have occurred participation for the dissemination event. • Gauge the general level of awareness among national industry The research leading to the mission, and day- • Assess the importance placed on to-day coordination, was through an SME biomimetics and the extent to which other associate of FPP – Thoughtcrew Ltd – countries have raised awareness of it subcontracted to provide resources for among industrial designers project management and planning. • Benchmark the UK biomimetics activity Specifically, Phil Richardson – Managing with other countries Director of Thoughtcrew Ltd – was mission • Explore the ways in which the countries leader. He has a background in life sciences, are stimulating the development of is a chartered biologist, and holds an MBA new products that utilise biomimetic from the Open University (where he also concepts and understand the roles of lectures on strategy and business operations). public sector (national and regional) and He is an experienced project manager with a private-sector investors track record of working at board level, whilst • Explore and brainstorm the ways in currently researching a PhD in biomimetics. which biomimetics can add value to the supply chain for FMCG and other high- 1.5 Mission location volume products The central focus on Germany is due to its 1.4 Coordinating body world-leading position in biomimetics at both academic and industrial level, with several Faraday Packaging Partnership (FPP) was the high-profile operations being formed or coordinating body for the mission. FPP was acquired by companies. 6
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Germany is probably the world leader in 1.6 Mission participants practical biomimetics, partly because the scientific base has always been strong, due The mission participants came from a broad mainly to the activity of a few academics. span of industry, including FMCG German industry is also very open to new manufacturers, designers, packaging, technologies, and the relationship between materials and consulting: the universities, Max Planck Institutes and Fraunhofer Institutes is particularly significant Dr Cathy Barnes in ensuring effective transfer of technology. Faraday Packaging Partnership BIOKON (Bionik-Kompetenz-Netz – Bionics Geoff Hollington Competence Network) has been very Hollington Associates effective in supporting the research and creating a clear route for technology Dr Matthias Gester translation to industry. Procter & Gamble Professor Julian Vincent Many of the world’s leading biomimetic University of Bath operations are based in Germany, including Patrick Poitevin the ‘bionic car’ from DaimlerChrysler. COSi Ltd In the Netherlands the European Space Agency Dr Martin Kemp (ESA) is actively applying ideas from nature in a DTI Global Watch Service wide range of areas of biomimetics reported in Johannes Schampel an extensive web site with applications in ColepCCL space exploration. It has a rudimentary database and a collection of interesting and Brian Knott relevant reports, all fully referenced. Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining Phil Richardson Thoughtcrew Ltd Exhibit 1.1 Mission team at the Radisson Hotel, Berlin; L Matthias Gester, Geoff Hollington, Martin Kemp, -R: Julian Vincent, Cathy Barnes, Patrick Poitevin (front), Johannes Schampel (behind), Brian Knott, Phil Richardson 7
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 2 BACKGROUND TO BIOMIMETICS Julian Vincent 2.1 Introduction destined to be outside. The globe fuses with 2.2 Flight the cell membrane and the topological 2.3 Architecture prediction is fulfilled. The spare membrane 2.4 Textiles which inevitably accumulates on the cell 2.5 Typical topics surface is tucked away and recycled in a sort of 2.6 Information retrieval cellular face-lift. 2.1 Introduction Biomimetics7 – which we here mean to be synonymous with ‘biomimesis’, ‘biomimicry’, Can innovation be managed? The history of ‘bionics’, ‘biognosis’, ‘biologically inspired advancement shows that we depend on the design’ and similar words and phrases vision and efforts of people going beyond implying copying or adaptation or derivation what is considered rational or possible and from biology – is a relatively young study seeing what happens. This is an orderly way embracing the practical use of mechanisms of doing things in that it gives a framework. and functions of biological science in Think the unthinkable, then rationalise it and engineering, design, chemistry, electronics bring it into the common ambit. and so on. The word was first coined by Otto Schmitt, a polymath, whose doctoral research This is also what happens with biomimetics. was an attempt to produce a physical device The underlying assumption is that nature that mimicked the electrical action of a nerve. performs a function with the least amount of By 1957 he had come to perceive what he energy, uses the commonest materials, and is would later label biomimetics as a the most reliable (though it may rely heavily on disregarded – but highly significant – feedback control). Speed is rarely important, converse of the standard view of biophysics. mostly because it would take too much energy He said: ‘Biophysics is not so much a subject or would involve dangerous chemistry. Some matter as it is a point of view. It is an critical processes (escape responses, decision approach to problems of biological science making) can happen very quickly. However, utilising the theory and technology of the growth can take its time – the emphasis being physical sciences. Conversely, biophysics is on having viable offspring before we die. also a biologist’s approach to problems of physical science and engineering, although By doing everything in water and using this aspect has largely been neglected.’ diffusion gradients, nature produces a production line with few moving parts and, by The related word bionics was coined by Jack virtue of the cell membrane, a highly controlled Steele of the US Air Force in 1960 at a chemical environment. The problems of getting meeting at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in synthesised material across the membrane are Dayton, Ohio. He defined it as ‘the science of solved by a packaging system whereby systems which have some function copied products are labelled then wrapped in a globe from nature, or which represent characteristics of membrane which establishes its interior as of natural systems or their analogues.’ 7 Julian F V Vincent et al, Biomimetics: its practice and theory, J R Soc Interface (2006) 3:471-482; www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/media/mgat4etrtl2tpnk2up67/ contributions/k/0/4/8/k048171720104k70.pdf 8
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE At another meeting at Dayton in 1963, with so many degrees of freedom in the Schmitt said: ‘Let us consider what bionics design, and the difficulty the pilot had in has come to mean operationally and what it varying these controls in flight, stability was or some word like it (I prefer biomimetics) compromised. On 9 October 1890 Ader flew ought to mean in order to make good use of about 50 m but the flight was not considered the technical skills of scientists specialising, to have been controlled or sustained. Ader or rather, I should say, despecialising into this completed another aircraft, the Avion III, in area of research. Presumably our common 1897 It was generally similar in concept and . interest is in examining biological appearance to Eole, but had two engines and phenomenology in the hope of gaining insight simplified wings. Two tests of the Avion III and inspiration for developing physical or were conducted on a circular track but it did composite biophysical systems in the image not fly although Ader claimed to have flown a of life.’ distance of 300 m. The word made its first public appearance in Flying seeds inspired serious investigations Webster’s Dictionary in 1974, accompanied by into the theory of flight; one of these was the the following definition: ‘The study of the seed of the liana Alsomitra macrocarpa, formation, structure or function of biologically which could glide great distances with produced substances and materials (as inherent stability. Several of the early enzymes or silk) and biological mechanisms experimenters with tailless aircraft, including and processes (as protein synthesis or Igo Etrich, adapted these principles to the photosynthesis) especially for the purpose of design of powered, sustained flight in heavier- synthesising similar products by artificial than-air machines. In 1904 Etrich built a mechanisms which mimic natural ones.’ graceful tailless glider in the shape of the Alsomitra seed made of bamboo, canvas and However, people have looked to nature for wire. By 1906, practice glides with sandbags inspiration for more than 3,000 years, since for passengers had been successfully the Chinese first tried to make an artificial silk. conducted, and the glider made what was perhaps the first successful flight of an 2.2 Flight inherently stable, manned aircraft. In 1907 Etrich installed a 40 hp engine into a second Leonardo da Vinci studied birds flying and design, and on 29 November 1909 flew his designed some machines, but never made any. first sustained powered flight. It then became obvious that simply adding a power plant to Clement Ader designed and made a flying the wing was not the way to advance, so wing aircraft designed by copying bats’ once again he turned to nature for the wings, to the extent that they folded and solution. To the Alsomitra wing he added the were supported and shaped in exactly the tail of a bird. The aircraft that evolved was the same way. The first aircraft, the Eole, had a Taube (dove), a class of aircraft that was single steam engine with a four-bladed produced in a bewildering number of versions bamboo propeller made in the form of bird for both civil and military use. Between 1910 feathers. Each wing could be swung forward and 1914, 54 manufacturers produced over and aft separately by a hand-operated crank, 500 of these aircraft, in 137 different thus changing the position of the centre of configurations. The Taube was easily pressure and consequently the pitch of the recognised by the distinctive Alsomitra- airplane. Wings could be flexed up and down shaped wings and dove-like tail, and by foot pedal; wing area and camber could possessed such inherent stability that it could also be changed by crank action. However, fly itself. 9
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 2.3 Architecture the strongest winds the top of the tower moves no more than 12 cm. Architects commonly use biology as a library of shapes. As decoration (Art Nouveau, Antonio Gaudí was fascinated by nature Jungendstil and the like) this is obviously from childhood. He studied nature’s angles acceptable, but the client still has to be able to and curves and incorporated them into his afford it. Unfortunately biology is also used designs. Instead of relying on geometric ineptly as a structural rationale. In Swift’s shapes, he mimicked the way trees grow and satire of the Royal Society in ‘Gulliver’s stand upright. The hyperboloids and Travels’, ‘There was a most ingenious architect paraboloids he borrowed from nature were who had contrived a new method for building easily reinforced by steel rods and allowed his houses, by beginning at the roof, and working designs to resemble elements from the downwards to the foundation; which he environment. This was enhanced by his justified to me by the like practice of those experimental approach to design, such that two prudent insects the bee and the spider.’ he established the lines of force in his buildings then arranged the supporting stone It is uncertain whether Joseph Paxton got around them, thus producing authentic tree- his ideas for the Crystal Palace from the like structures. leaves of a giant water lily: he used a leaf as an illustration during a talk at the Royal For many years Frei Otto worked on Society of the Arts in London, showing how lightweight structures in the University of to support a roof-like structure, and the myth Stuttgart. He leaves a legacy of examining may have grown out of overenthusiastic nature, especially spiders’ webs, as a source reportage. Certainly there is little similarity of inspiration for tent-like tension structures, between the design of the water lily leaf exemplified by the Munich Olympic Stadium. (which uses support of radial tapering beams) The roof of Stuttgart Airport is supported by and the design of the roof of the Crystal his tree-like structures. Not all his ideas were Palace (which, with its corrugations, more as successful, for example his notorious resembles other types of leaf such as beech ‘pneu’ studies, where he claimed that all or hornbeam). The original impetus for the biology is the product of inflatable structures, corrugated roof occurred about 20 years totally missing the point that the shape of a earlier, when Paxton copied an idea to ensure soap bubble is necessitated by the inability of that sunlight could go through the glass the liquid soap film to resist shear; therefore unimpeded during the morning and evening, the skin of an object shaped like a soap but with a longer light path at midday, bubble will also be shear-free and thus lighter perhaps giving a little protection at the hottest and more efficient. part of the day. Richard Rogers in his Reith Lectures on the There are stories that Eiffel’s tower was built environment leant heavily on nature as a based on the structure of trabecular struts in source of inspiration and on the possibilities the head of the human femur, or the taper of of an ‘intelligent’ building which, like an a tulip stem. In fact it was constructed to organism, could sense the external resist wind loading, a topic in which Eiffel was environment and alter its outer covering in an early expert. In the construction of the such a way as to keep the internal tower, the curve of the base pylons was environment ideal. calculated so that the wind loads were resisted related to their force and the moment exerted with height. Thus even in 10
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 2.4 Textiles • Deployable structures • Drag reduction In the early 1940s George de Mestral, a • Growth Swiss inventor, went for a walk in the forest • Hairy and feathery surfaces with his dog. Upon his return home he • Haptics noticed that the dog’s coat and his trousers • Joining and adhesion were covered in cockleburs. His inventor’s • Lubrication curiosity led him to study the burs under the • Material properties microscope, where he discovered the hooked • Mechanical mechanisms ends of the bristles that stick out from the • Navigation and control seeds. This became the basis for a zip, later • Pumps developed into a two-sided fastener. One side • Responsive materials and structures has stiff hooks like the burs; the other has • Self-repair loops like the fabric of his trousers. The result • Self-replication was Velcro, named for the French words • Social interactions ‘velour’ (velvet) and ‘crochet’ (hook). The • Surface protection/hardness challenge was then to make machinery that • Sustainability could produce textured fabrics that would • Swimming work reliably. After considerable • Vision experimentation, de Mestral developed • Walking/running special looms and hook-cutting machinery. Currently Velcro Industries is (as its 2.6 Information retrieval advertising literature assures us) a technically driven global organisation and the industry Biomimetics is nothing unless engineers and leader. It offers hundreds of different hook- designers can retrieve information from and-loop products and fastening systems. It biology which will lead to improved design, makes fastening tapes of woven and knitted strength, efficiency etc. There are several construction and custom-designed speciality ways in which this can be achieved, but the fasteners made of various materials in general thrust must be towards de-skilling the different shapes and sizes. area so that the information is more readily available to all. 2.5 Typical topics The most obvious way is to ask a biologist to The mission was shown developments in identify the animals and plants in which a some of the subject areas listed below. This certain function is available. This requires a list is by no means exhaustive; it should cover biologist with a broad base in natural history, the whole of biology. ecology, molecular biology, behaviour... such people are rare. • Behaviour • Bumpy surfaces A second approach is to develop a hypertext • Camouflage database of research papers. This approach is • Chemistry being taken by the Biomimicry Guild8 in the • Chemosense USA. This still requires interpretation and • Composite materials understanding of biological information, and • Computing does not allow for the complexity of biological • Creative design systems. It may be important to strip away 8 www.biomimicryguild.com 11
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE the biological processes from the main function which is required from the biological paradigm. This is not a trivial process. Both these methods are subjective and require knowledge and skill in biology. Still with the concept of discovering biological analogues, lexical search of a biological database has proved useful. The main difficulty is translating between the words used for a concept in biology and in engineering. For instance the function ‘clean’ in an engineering context was rated as similar to ‘defend’ in a biological context, where an organism defends itself against pathogens by cleansing or isolation. This is a powerful method since there are many large and complete biological texts available which can be used as source material. Web search engines can also be incorporated. Another approach is to adapt an existing method from engineering and introduce a biological component. The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving – known by its Russian acronym TRIZ – seems particularly suitable but requires the production of a large database from biology. Advantages are that such a system incorporates creative definitions and solutions and so is pre-adapted for dynamic transfer of concepts and functions between disciplines. This system probably requires the least skill and knowledge in biology but the most effort in setting it up. It is the most amenable to computation and can incorporate web search engines. 12
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 3 EXAMPLES OF BIOMIMETIC APPLICATIONS: BIOLOGICALLY INSPIRED PACKAGING Patrick Poitevin 3.1 Introduction structures. Nature’s solutions have stood the 3.2 Objective test of time. 3.3 Biomimetics in packaging 3.4 Industrial mission delegates and 3.3 Biomimetics in packaging biomimetics 3.5 Applications and opportunities in Biomimetics in packaging covers many biomimetic packaging encountered different areas: during the mission 3.6 Summary • Energy 3.7 Conclusions • Functions • Environment 3.1 Introduction • Light weight • Materials Packaging should be taken in the widest • Process sense possible. It is a vehicle to transport and • Structure protect the product, but quite often is part of • Surfaces the product or is the product itself. Packaging • Transport has a design, a shape, a structure, a concept, a finish and a decoration or print. The mission came across all these different areas – not only in packaging but also in other Nature’s designs, materials, processes and applications mentioned in this report. structures have always inspired packaging. Numerous examples could be listed, 3.4 Industrial mission delegates and including Velcro and lotus leaf, tongs and biomimetics tweezers. The examples in this chapter are drawn from the case studies encountered 3.4.1 ColepCCL, Laupheim, Germany during the mission. • Does not apply biomimetics yet but is 3.2 Objective looking for opportunities. Packaging is alongside the product, the driver 3.4.2 COSi – Creative Outsourcing to attract consumers. It is the first item the Solutions International, UK consumer sees, feels, smells, touches and (maybe) tastes. It is important that the • Applies biomimetics in fingerprint-free packaging industry is up to date on changes, coatings on highly shiny metallised and on newness, on innovation – constantly anodised personal care components. The enquiring ‘How can we stand out?’ – looking additives in the coatings are based on the into other industries and learning from cross- lotus leaf repellent effect. See Exhibit 3.1. industry technologies. Nature is one of those other ‘industries’. We can learn enormously from nature. Why reinvent the wheel when nature has it all? People are used to natural 13
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Opportunities • Manipulate spray patterns and transport liquids with unlimited viscosities such as personal care formulations. • Use microfluidic system for mixing dual chamber dosage and mix active ingredients in stimulus with designated purpose. Exhibit 3.1 Fingerprint-free coatings on highly shiny metallised and anodised personal care components 3.5.2 DEAM – University of Delft, the (courtesy COSi) Netherlands 3.4.3 Procter & Gamble/Gillette, Applications Reading, UK • Endoscope in micro scale and rolling • Does not apply biomimetics yet but is doughnuts. looking for opportunities. Opportunities 3.5 Applications and opportunities in biomimetic packaging • Rolling doughnut moves itself in and out encountered during the mission through a colon. Can be used for packaging inspection. 3.5.1 Philips, Eindhoven, the Netherlands 3.5.3 University of Groningen, the Netherlands – University of Applications Cambridge, UK • Microfluidics which can manipulate the Applications spray on a small scale – transporting, mixing, sorting and collecting. Can be used • Dynamic wetting of porous Teflon surfaces for ink-jet application and cooling based on lotus leaf. Concept already electronics. See Exhibit 3.2. applied at COSi for fingerprint-free coating on highly shiny metallised and anodised • Microfluidic mixer based on stimulus, for components. See Exhibit 3.3. example temperature, humidity. Exhibit 3.3 Dynamic wetting of porous Teflon surfaces Exhibit 3.2 Ink-jet printing for displays and biomedical based on lotus leaf (courtesy University of Cambridge) applications (courtesy Philips) 14
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Opportunities • Use of coating to keep packaging dry. • Coating can be used inside bottles for easy pouring of sticky product. Exhibit 3.6 Composite profiles modelled on plant 3.5.4 Institute for Textile Technology stems (courtesy ITV) and Process Engineering (ITV Denkendorf), Germany Applications • Applies lotus effect on and in textiles. Textile repels water or stays dry in water and is self-cleaning. See Exhibit 3.4. Exhibit 3.7 Transparent light transfer inspired by polar bear hair (courtesy ITV/P Poitevin) • Transparent light transfer inspired by polar bear hair as supposed light guides. Dark Exhibit 3.4 Lotus effect on textiles (courtesy ITV) skin absorbs IR but blocks harmful UV radiations. See Exhibit 3.7. Opportunities • Handbags and other textile parts, used in packaging or gift industry, can be kept dry Exhibit 3.5 Coating containing electrostatic particles and clean. Water sports gifts and toys or (courtesy ITV) packaging which should be kept dry. • Coating containing electrostatic particles. • Heat insulation, can be applied for self- See Exhibit 3.5. heating or thermostatic packaging. • Reinforced fibres. • Use in hydrophobic chemistry for water- resistant products such as waterproof • Release of air bubbles to create speed and mascara. reduction of frictional drift. Used for boats. • Plant stem construction for light weight • Plant stems as role models for composite but high stiffness for rods and parts which profiles. Creates light weight and needs strength and rigidity. enhanced stiffness. Used in ski poles, cables, tubes and bicycle frames. See Exhibit 3.6. 15
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit 3.9 Dry adhesive (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart) Exhibit 3.8 Aerodynamics application by DaimlerChrysler (courtesy BIOKON, Germany) 3.5.5 DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology, Ulm, Germany Applications • Aerodynamics. See Exhibit 3.8. Exhibit 3.10 Dry adhesive applications (courtesy Max • Tree fork construction to maximise strength. Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart) • Notch stresses with hollow structures. Opportunities • Lightweight construction in metal gift packaging with hollow structures. 3.5.6 Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Evolutionary Biomaterials Group, Stuttgart, Germany Applications Exhibit 3.11 Head-arresting system in dragonflies (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, • Dry adhesives such as gecko, beetle, robot Stuttgart) like, suction cups. See Exhibits 3.9 and 3.10. Opportunities • Head-arresting system in dragonflies tells • Apply products in dry condition to skis for contact or no contact. Mechanical easy release. coupling. See Exhibit 3.11. • Soft-touch applications and surfaces. 16
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit 3.13 Glass fibre construction (courtesy Max Exhibit 3.12 Models from trees, bamboos and vines Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Berlin) used for construction in aircraft, cars, roofs and bridges (courtesy University of Freiburg) 3.5.7 University of Freiburg, Plant Biomechanics Group, Germany Applications • Models from trees, bamboos and vines used for construction in aircraft, cars, roofs and bridges. See Exhibit 3.12. • Self-repair vine and coat membrane with foam. Exhibit 3.14 Cell wall constructions for wood (courtesy Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Opportunities Interfaces, Berlin) • Use models and constructions in packaging and make light but solid. • Cell wall constructions for wood. • Self-repair packaging in future? See Exhibit 3.14. 3.5.8 Max Planck Institute of Colloids • Self-assembly hierarchical order in water. and Interfaces, Potsdam, Berlin, Germany • Lamellar structure based on collagen fibrils, stiff and tough. Applications • Microcapsules with nano-scale wall • Synthetic motors or active transport. Active thickness with controlled mechanical biomimetic systems. properties. • Glass fibre construction. Tough material • Self-repairing coatings where inhibitor and light. See Exhibit 3.13. releases on command. 17
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Opportunities • Focused transport of polymers for activations and functional packaging. • Use of glass fibres in packaging. • Self-repair coatings for scratch and scuff defects. 3.5.9 BIOKON/EvoLogics GmbH, F&E Labor Bionik, Berlin, Germany Applications Exhibit 3.16 Surface applications inspired by penguins, lotus leaves, dolphins, sharks, geckos and • Acoustic camera. See Exhibit 3.15. sandfish (courtesy BIOKON, Germany) Exhibit 3.15 Acoustic camera (courtesy Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Informatik – GFaI, Berlin) Exhibit 3.17 Fin ray effect used for ergonomic chair (courtesy BIOKON, Germany/P Poitevin) • Surface applications inspired by penguins, • Fin ray effect used for ergonomic chairs lotus leaves, dolphins, sharks, geckos and can be used in the packaging printing sandfish. See Exhibit 3.16. industry, such as glass, where tolerances are too large for proper jig printing. See • Bionic propellers, friction coefficients, Exhibits 3.17 and 3.18. sonar techniques. 3.5.10 University of Applied Sciences, Opportunities Magdeburg-Stendal, Germany • Analyses of packaging with acoustic Applications cameras to improve handling, noise and acoustic properties, such as lubricating, • Modular walking robots, dismantling swivel and torque in packaging. robots. See Exhibit 3.19. 18
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit 3.18 Fin ray effect can also be used in the Exhibit 3.20 Reduction of materials conception packaging printing industry, such as glass, where (courtesy Dr Mirtsch/P Poitevin) tolerances are too large for proper jig printing (courtesy BIOKON, Germany/P Poitevin) Opportunities • Use in lightweight bottles, jars, aerosols and cans in general. Opportunity to find solutions for printing or decoration. 3.5.12 INPRO, Berlin, Germany Applications • Detection and inspection instruments for surfaces and defects in materials Exhibit 3.19 Modular walking robots (courtesy and surfaces such as plasma treatment, University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg-Stendal) laser welding. Opportunities Opportunities • Use in materials science and surface • Robots can be used for rather difficult-to- investigations. access areas for research and applying packaging decoration. 3.6 Summary 3.5.11 Dr Mirtsch GmbH, Teltow, Berlin, Each university, institute or company met Germany during this mission had an application or at least an opportunity in packaging or Applications packaging-related topics. No-one wants to repeat or copy what someone else has done. • Reduction of materials conception. Biologically inspired products or mimicking Material can be reduced 24% in weight by nature? No problem in doing so. Invisible hexagonal or honeycomb shaped buckling. solutions may contribute to visible See Exhibit 3.20. innovations. Think outside the shell! 19
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE The biomimetic developments encountered on the mission are only a fraction of what is happening in the world. There is a goldmine in biomimetics related to packaging. Industrialists have to know what opportunities there are. Institutes and universities have to know the needs. Collaboration is key. Nature has so many opportunities. 3.7 Conclusions Biomimetics is a key driver. Sustainability and innovation are the current topics in packaging. Biomimetics supplies and covers both. Although biomimetics does not have all short- term solutions, it certainly covers mid- and long-term opportunities and is definitely the solution to sustainability and innovation in packaging. Industries will soon be converted to the new (biomimetic) religion. Collaboration with those universities and institutes working on biomimetics is crucial. Innovation requires inspiration and relies on creativity. Nature does! Currently, UK industry has BIONIS in Reading/Bath and other biomimetic packaging liaisons abroad though needs a good database, a central UK-based full-time biomimetic support with regular newsletters, conferences and meetings and information on applications, opportunities and worldwide latest news. The challenge is to move forward, fast. It took the lotus concept over 20 years and Velcro eight years. If the UK wants to be on top of biomimetics, being innovative, creative and sustainable, it needs the proper infrastructure and base to help industry move in that direction. Quite often, institutes and universities communicate to the industry: ‘Tell us what the needs are’. Meanwhile, the industry is communicating to those bodies: ‘Tell us what your research is, what you are working on’. We need two-way communication. 20
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4 APPLICATION OF BIOMIMETICS IN OTHER INDUSTRIES Brian Knott and Johannes Schampel 4.1 Introduction impression is of a wood of metal trees, 4.2 Architecture where each trunk, bough, branch and twig 4.3 Automotive plays a synergistic role in supporting the 4.4 Healthcare weight of the roof. See Exhibit 4.1. 4.5 Dry adhesives 4.6 Discussion 4.7 Samples of biomimetics related to industry 4.1 Introduction In the same way that the term biomimetics can be used to encompass a range of biological/engineering related concepts including bionics and bio-inspired, so the term product design, in its widest interpretation could encompass most if not all of the applications seen and described during this mission. However, for the purposes of this report, ‘other industries’ are interpreted as those where the application is either more generalised than a specific product, or the application forms part of the overall product. Exhibit 4.1 Metal trees supporting the roof of Stuttgart The design of part of the body shell of a car Airport (courtesy www.stuttgart-airport.com) forms an example of the latter. 4.2 Architecture 4.3 Automotive Although the subject was not covered in any A striking example of significant benefits of the presentations given at the various which could be realised by applying the establishments, one highly visible and principles of biomimetics was the statement immediately apparent area of the application by Dr Götz of DaimlerChrysler that an 80% of biomimetics was architecture, with the reduction in the weight of the shell of a car roof of Stuttgart Airport. This essentially flat could be achieved if it could be designed in roof has the appearance of being supported the same way as the structure of bone, with by metal trees, in that each discrete area, all the consequential benefits that this would which could be considered as a giant leaf, is have on fuel efficiency. The front shell of a affixed to small metallic twigs, which in turn vehicle comprises many members which are are affixed to metal branches. As the eye joined together, often at right angles, with moves down to the ground so the branches their associated generation of potential combine to form boughs, which in turn failure-inducing notch stresses when under combine to form the trunk of a tree. The final load. In contrast, no notch stresses are to be 21
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE found within the inner surfaces where a The bionic car, again developed by single trunk of a tree divides into two. The DaimlerChrysler, took the concept of using faster growth of wood at regions where the solutions from nature and applying these to car structure is highly stressed, combined with design. The exterior form of the car is slower growth at regions of low stress, substantially based on the boxfish. This tropical eliminates notch stresses and results in a fish – despite its boxy, cube-shaped body – is fully uniform stress loading. somewhat surprisingly extremely streamlined with a very low coefficient of drag, a feature Bone structures, however, can grow or shrink reproduced in the concept car (Exhibit 4.3). depending on their load-bearing requirements. This has been modelled in a soft kill option (SKO) computer program developed by Professor Claus Mattheck where, during a number of iterations, material is eliminated in low-stress regions, leaving only those areas which provide load-bearing capability to the structure. An example of the optimum structure for a centrally loaded beam after only ten iterations of the program is given in Exhibit 4.2. Exhibit 4.3 Bionic car concept by DaimlerChrysler SKO techniques were also employed in the construction of the shell, resulting in a highly Exhibit 4.2 Optimum structure for a centrally loaded fuel-efficient vehicle. In the end, only 40% of beam after 10 iterations (courtesy Prof Claus Mattheck) the biomimetic ideas originally considered for inclusion in the original design of the vehicle could be employed. For example, the self- Application of this principle of biomimetic cleaning features associated with the lotus design to the front element of a Mercedes C effect had to be discarded as the surface class vehicle produced a structure that produced does not have the desired high gloss. eliminated areas of excessive stress concentration associated with generation of Although the concept car demonstrated notches at joints between structural members. successful collaboration between academia Unfortunately the structure required can not be and industry, resulting in the promotion of the manufactured on a mass production basis. subject of biomimetics within the German Nevertheless the principle of this approach Government with increased funding, it was was adopted by DaimlerChrysler and although surprising to hear Konrad Götz comment that it did not result in a weight saving, the removal at present no further biomimetic-based of material from regions where it served no projects were under way within function permitted improved local access to DaimlerChrysler. The search does, however, enable a greater number of spot welds to be continue for an animal that has the same used to join the various component members boundary constraints associated with engine of the front element. power transmission, with the aim of improving the tribofilm characteristics of this unit. 22
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4.4 Healthcare In healthcare the idea of using a lab-on-a-chip device to test human blood, for example, is one that is drawing ever increasing attention. A particular challenge with the development of such a device is the need to guide amounts of an already small sample of blood (a) (typically 1 µL) to various reaction chambers on the chip. Philips, after initial consideration of a number of options including capillary pumping, surface tension and electro-osmosis, was inspired by nature and selected the biomimetic route of utilising cilia (which look (b) like very small hairs) to move the blood in a controlled manner. In humans it is the cilia, Exhibit 4.4 Cilium-like plate created by Philips working in unison to produce a wave-like movement, that sweep mucus from the lining of the lungs; in sessile organisms exemplified by filter-feeding molluscs the cilia play an important role in feeding; whilst in microorganisms they are often the mechanism of propulsion. Philips’ approach was to create cilium-like plates comprising a polymer layer with a conductive backing material bonded to the Exhibit 4.5 Multiple ‘cilia’ incorporated in a base of the device – normally silica. In the microchannel by Philips free condition, the single ‘cilium’ adopts the form shown in Exhibit 4.4 (a), but on application of an electrostatic charge the development but has considerable potential ‘cilium’ lays flat – Exhibit 4.4 (b). both for ‘lab-on-a-chip’ devices and also in the development and screening of drugs. The advantages of this approach included realisation of large amounts of movement of 4.5 Dry adhesives individual ‘cilia’, the individual ‘cilia’ were robust, and multiple ‘cilia’ could be The remit of the Max Planck Institutes (MPIs) incorporated in a microchannel (as shown in in Germany is the study of basic science. At Exhibit 4.5) which in turn could be locally MPI Stuttgart considerable effort is being addressed using patterned electrodes to directed towards the understanding of surface- induce movement of a fluid. related effects in biology, looking at the ability of flies and geckos to attach to glass walls and The technique has been successfully ceilings. A number of the key structural employed to both transport liquid and also to features of the feet of the two species have give mixing of two liquid streams. The been identified and reproduced on the concept is at a very early stage of surfaces of a number of differing materials. 23
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE In the insect kingdom there are two principal mechanisms and also prevention of polymer mechanisms of attachment, either smooth or squeaking by promoting smooth sliding rather hairy pads, with both systems having the than stick-slip. ability to adapt and adhere to smooth and structured substrata. For example, the basal 4.6 Discussion hairs of the pads of a hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax) are in turn covered in a very fine This has been only a selection of the cases close-packed structure of high aspect ratio where biomimetics has found application in columns with a lip structure that makes areas other than packaging. It does, however, contact with the surface. A similar structure, highlight the potential for adoption of the essential features and associated biomimetic solutions to problems that nature characteristics of which are illustrated in Exhibit has already invested millions of years of effort 4.6, has been reproduced on sheet material in to solve – why reinvent the wheel when it square metre sizes to give a material which is may not be the best answer to movement? adhesive solely as a consequence of its The challenge would appear to be joining the surface topography with no related chemical specific requirements of industry with the bonding. This ‘dry-adhesive’ material is tolerant myriad of solutions awaiting an application, to contamination and can be cleaned by offered by biologists. washing without much degradation of its adhesive properties. For many of the above, the biomimetic solution has originated either from engineers’ discussions with biologists, or biologists offering nature’s solutions to engineers. Chance would appear to have played a significant role in the process, and a prime requirement for identifying the optimum solution to an engineering challenge would appear to lie in the development and adoption of a structured method of contact between the two communities. The initial work on the problem-identifying TRIZ database and on compilation of a database of biological materials and components could be considered to be the first steps in this process. 4.7 Samples of biomimetics related to industry Depending on the scale of scope we use to look at nature, we can find a multiple choice of diversified structures. Nature seems to Exhibit 4.6 Dry adhesives have the ‘master plan’ to develop a broad range of structures, all with totally different properties, built on the same material base. MPI Stuttgart is in active collaboration with a number of industrial partners developing the According to Julian Vincent, Professor of concept for applications such as adhesive Biomimetics at the University of Bath, nature tapes, grippers for manipulation of silicon uses only two basic polymers to equip all wafers and solar batteries, paper feeding polymer-based structures. 24
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Depending on the functions and systems we it suitable for low-cost mass production of regard, it seems nature knows how to change steerable endoscopes, instruments and material properties by changing the inner catheters. structure and therefore constructs objects very efficiently on a sustainable base. Technical developments during the last 20 years have resulted in a decreasing average 4.7.1 Steerable endoscope diameter of endoscopes down to 12 mm – 5 mm and a strong improvement in image Steerable endoscope for laparoscopic surgery quality. The big difference between the by Paul Breedveld, Jules S Scheltes, Esther M conservative constructed endoscopes and the Blom and Johanna E I Verheij, Department of new developed bionic endoscope is that Biomechanical Engineering, University of Delft conservative systems do have a limited space of observation: the incision acts like a The function of this new endoscope was fulcrum, giving only four degrees of freedom inspired by the tentacles of a squid (Exhibit 4.7). (DOFs). Therefore it is impossible to take a look behind objects by getting around them. In order to find dangerous metastases and cavities, it is necessary to have a more flexible endoscope which is not limited by those restrictions. Exhibit 4.8 Endo-Periscope developed by University of Exhibit 4.7 Schematic cross section of the tentacle of Delft in cooperation with Tokyo Institute of Technology the loliginid squid. The tentacle is surrounded by longitudinal and helical muscle layers (LML and HML). The cross section contains a ring of longitudinal To increase manoeuvrability of the muscle bundles (LMB) which are enclosed by endoscopic camera, the new endoscope, the transverse and circular muscle fibres (TMF and CMF) Endo-Periscope (Exhibit 4.8), has been developed at Delft University of Technology in close cooperation with the Tokyo Institute of Currently being commercialised, the Technology. The Endo-Periscope has a rigid endoscope follows the same principle as the shaft and a 2-DOF steerable tip with a tentacles and consists only of standard parts miniature camera, enabling the surgeon to such as coil springs, cables, rings and tubes. observe organs from the side and to look behind anatomic structures. The steerable tip Compared to the current systems, which are is controlled via a spatial parallelogram very expensive, the new bionic endoscope mechanism; the camera follows the handgrip works very efficiently and can easily be movements exactly and the handgrip is miniaturised to a very small diameter, making always parallel to the camera’s line of sight. 25
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE This provides intuitive control of the tip, showing how the camera is oriented in the abdominal cavity. 4.7.2 Adaptive braided bag filter Adaptive braided bag filter for microfiltration in solid-liquid separation processes by Dr Jamal Sarsour, Michael Linke, Dr Markus Milwich and Dr Thomas Stegmaier, ITV Denkendorf This project was inspired by the sea sponge which in nature works as a highly energy- efficient filtration pump. This sponge is able to filter a remarkable amount of water for food particles and oxygen by using its collar cells. The idea coming from that source of inspiration is to build a highly effective cross- flow microfiltration system. Exhibit 4.10 ITV’s braided bag filter (a) stretched, (b) relaxed Basic requirements for this system are: • High selectivity with particle separation Due to its flexible construction, the filter tube • Chemical and thermal resistance can be stretched and released (Exhibit 4.10). • Little tendency to fouling • Constant operation conditions When the filter tube is in relaxed state, the • High mechanical strength pore size is much smaller then in stretched • Reasonable price state. Due to the variable pore size and the good cleaning performance, the application of The team at ITV developed a braided bag the developed adaptive tube filters can offer filter based on the shape of a hose or a tube. new microfiltration methods in the fields of This tube can be vertically installed in the waste water, food and chemical technology. filter tube system as shown in Exhibit 4.9. 4.7.3 Fin ray Leif Kniese, Department of Bionic and Evolution Technology, Technical University of Berlin The tail fin of a fish reacts to a mechanical stimulation in an unexpected way. When we apply an orthogonal force to the right side of the tail fin, we would expect the fin to yield. But the fin bends into the direction of the Exhibit 4.9 ITV’s filter system equipment with the force. When pressure is applied to the right filter tube in the pipe on the right side hand side, the fin’s end turns right in a significant manner. 26
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE This behaviour woke the interest of Leif and colour-coding loud areas red and quiet Kniese of the Technical University of Berlin. areas blue. He became interested in the fin’s morphology and started to do research work. He then The system consists of an array of developed a mechanical device which reacts microphones connected to a personal in a very similar way when it is facing external computer (PC) via a data-recording device. force (Exhibit 4.11). The array can have either a circular, linear or spherical pattern. Spherical patterns for example would be used to capture noise which is disturbing the driver of a car. The microphones are therefore installed at the height of the driver’s head and capture surrounding noises (all-round measurement). See Exhibit 4.12. Exhibit 4.11 Fin ray Further development stages then led to a device which has unique gripper tool properties. Like an intelligent shaping tool, Exhibit 4.12 Spherical array, 32-channel acoustic which shapes around an object, this tool camera system for interior use adapts to the shape of an object. Other areas of application can be in the aviation industry (wings and fins), ergonomic parts, such as chairs, carrier systems for backpacks, beds Independent from each array, all systems and many more. have a video capturing device in the centre of the pattern. This enables the operation 4.7.4 Acoustic camera system afterwards to overlay visual and audio signals layer by layer. Instead of using a video Acoustic camera – listening with your eyes by image as positioning layer, one could also use Dr Ing Olaf Jaeckel, GFaI, Berlin the computer-aided design (CAD) file of the checked object. The acoustic camera is a lightweight, modular and flexible system for positioning and This system could be used for the automotive analysing noise sources. Similar to a thermal industry, in internal and external sound imaging camera, this system is able to make design, quality management and for noise sources visible by spectral evaluation environmental tasks. 27
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4.7.5 Bionic propeller 4.7.6 Plants as concept generators EvoLogics GmbH, Berlin Plants as concept generators for innovative biomimetic structures and materials by Inspired by the fanned wing tips of an eagle, Thomas Speck and Tom Masselter, Botanic scientists of the Bionics Department at the Garden of the University of Freiburg and Technical University of Berlin asked BIOKON themselves how the widespread, flexible outer wing changes the flight and drag performance. Different biological models such as mammut trees, giant bamboos and vines are the base Regarding the turbulence caused by aircraft for biomimetic products for many different wings, a significant amount of energy is industries, including aviation, automotive wasted and not used to create upforce. and architecture. Combining those facts, the team at Gradient materials with optimised structure EvoLogics started to work on a new wing and weight properties are more often the system inspired by nature. The idea was to focus of industrial collaboration. Those use drag forces as efficiently as possible and materials are built to resist specific forces. The therefore save energy. The principle is to split team at the Botanic Garden of the University up vortices at the wing tip, known as of Freiburg chose the giant reed as a biological ‘winglets’ in airplanes. model to learn about gradient materials. Exhibit 4.14 Model of stem structure Exhibit 4.13 Bionic propeller from EvoLogics GmbH Following up this idea, a bionic propeller The giant reed is bionically interesting (Exhibit 4.13) has been developed. The new because of its optimised fibre orientation and propeller is designed such that its blades distribution. Its gradual transition between meet each other to form a circular outer fibre and matrixes gives inspiration to build wing. This highly efficient and noise-avoiding lightweight structures with high stiffness and propeller has been adopted for new aviation strength. Comparing the diameter of the design. Further areas of application are fans, stem to its height, the flexibility of the plant ship propellers and chopper blades. is enormous. 28
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Based on this model the team from Freiburg caused by holes up to 5 mm diameter can be developed a technical plant stem (Exhibit delayed by two to three orders of magnitude. 4.15) in collaboration with ITV Denkendorf. The stem is made of a bionically optimised In a second phase, not only sealing but real fibre-reinforced compound material. This repair should be achieved, ie re-establishment material gives high vibration damping, long- of the mechanical properties of the membrane. lasting high dynamic load capacity and benign fracture behaviour. Exhibit 4.15 Technical plant stem developed by University of Freiburg in collaboration with ITV Denkendorf To manufacture this material, high-end pultrusion and 3D-single-braiding techniques were used. 4.7.7 Self-healing structures Together with various industrial partners, a team from Thomas Speck developed a plant- inspired self-healing system for pneumatic systems such as aircraft, bridges or architectural elements. The idea is to prevent damage through air leakage. The plant Aristolochia macrophylla is known for its self-repairing capability in the vine. Plants have developed an enormous capacity to seal and mend internal fissures. Based on this, the team worked on developing a self- repairing foam with some promising results. With the bionically optimised foam, polymerised under pressure, air leakage 29
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 5 COMMERCIAL VALUE OF BIOMIMETICS Martin Kemp 5.1 Commercial case for biomimetic manufacturer of such devices. Cost of the solutions device was not so much of an issue, even if 5.2 Role of funding higher than standard instruments, due to 5.3 Incubators and consortia performance benefits resulting in less patient 5.4 Discussion and conclusions trauma and damage ensuring large cost savings in post-operative patient care. 5.1 Commercial case for biomimetic solutions A noise measurement and visualisation tool based on a ‘bat radar’ analogue was Consideration of the ubiquitous ‘hook and presented by Dr Jaeckel of GFaI, Berlin. The loop’ product Velcro illustrates that biologically methodology behind this device is well inspired products can result in significant known, so the innovation has been in commercial potential. However, since it was developing an improved overall system. This invented in 1941, the time to develop a tool shows great potential for transportation significant market even for this ‘new design and noise optimisation and paradigm’ product has been considerable. In environmental monitoring. With Porsche as view of its success, it begs the question why the launch customer, industry has identified there are not more ‘killer applications’, since the usefulness of this tool. An interesting the source of natural inspiration is virtually feature of this case study is the way it has endless. developed in an ‘incubator’ – ie GFaI (discussed in Section 5.3 below). This chapter will assess the role of funding on commercialisation of biomimetics A microfluidics ‘pump’ development funded research. A selection of biomimetics case by Philips featured cost as a significant, but studies will first be compared. not overriding, factor. Again, the market was medical (diagnostics) and a premium product 5.1.1 Devices (at least initially) was envisaged. The biomimetics fluid transport system would be The steerable endoscope developed by more expensive than a micropump but DEAM uses biomimetic principles to achieve offered added functionality in terms of fluid an improved product compared to existing mixing, a crucial factor for accurate diagnosis. products. The benefits of the device were The product also had an additional high- well defined: to give a better image of the added-value application in drug testing, which target area, especially depth perception, strengthened the justification of research which would allow more precise surgery cut cost. However, it was made clear that Philips depth. A secondary benefit would be realised was ‘very aware’ of cost and was looking at if the endoscope diameter could be four different ‘actuator’ options, and cost minimised, resulting in reduced tissue might be a deciding factor in the final choice damage, and hence reduced hospital of technique. In general terms, the simpler treatment costs. Having successfully system would probably be preferred due to achieved both of these aims, the product reduced cost (‘complexity costs money’). If received commercial interest from a Philips successfully develops this product, it 30
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE could have huge commercial potential in 5.1.3 Functional surfaces future microfluidics devices. Surface-to-surface contact properties are 5.1.2 Optimisation involved in the way we touch, grip and feel everyday objects. For joining, the strength of The DaimlerChrysler ‘bionic car’ explores interfaces is crucial. These properties have aerodynamic and structural/weight benefits of been investigated by MPI Stuttgart, resulting biomimetic principles, including the SKO in a synthetic gecko foot structure using a modelling approach of Professor Mattheck. textured soft polymer. The company Binder is This can be realised and used by engineers interested in developing an adhesive tape using finite element (FE) stress analysis version (it has patented the finest scale software, and hence promises a powerful and ‘Velcro’ with 40 µm features); Satisloh is accessible tool. However, DaimlerChrysler investigating use in processing lenses; Shunk indicated no follow-on activity, even though is interested in developing grippers for silicon real car components had been optimised. The wafers and solar batteries; Voith in a paper barrier to full exploitation in the car industry feeding system; Reticel of Belgium to prevent appears to be that the optimised structures polymer surfaces squeaking, giving soft-touch are too expensive to manufacture. However, feel for car interiors (joint patent); and OVD in another industry this method might provide Kinegram of Switzerland is investigating soft- significant benefits. touch metal strips on euro banknotes for authenticity and anticounterfeiting (this could The ‘evolutionary’ approach to process or be in the form of frictional anisotropy). A design optimisation was presented by number of companies (including automotive) INPRO, a software package using neural are interested in novel attachment devices. network processing techniques. The diversity As with Velcro, such a product has a diverse of applications, from coffee blending to marketing potential. optical lens optimisation, was impressive and indicated that it could be used in a wide These case studies, which are so different in range of markets. every way, illustrate the diversity of products that can be derived from biomimetic Tubular elements are widely used in industry, research, from specific devices to generic and the work at ITV Denkendorf simulated products with wide potential application. To hollow plant-stem structures. ITV has taken describe the latter inventions, Dr Bannasch of this design idea forward by developing a TU Berlin compared the ‘normal’ exploitation braiding technique coupled with pultrusion to of research ideas to the exploitation of enable rapid net shape manufacture. As a ‘biomimetic’ ideas. In the former case, he case study, this overcomes several barriers to argued that starting a significant number of commercialisation, since it has been taken ideas deriving from biomimetics had multiple through proof-of-concept stage to prototyping. applications, ie greater possibilities for This immediately allows industry the commercial exploitation (Exhibit 5.1). opportunity to rapidly assess the potential, as evidenced by applications in prostheses 5.2 Role of funding (‘Springlite’), train body outer skins (‘Bekaert’); Airbus curved stringers (‘Fiber Innovations’), Two main research funding models were and for a bicycle frame tube (‘Vyatek’). seen on this mission: funding by large companies (eg Philips, DaimlerChrysler), and funding by State or Regional Government as in Germany: 31
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Netherlands, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, ‘Normal’ Japan, China and Singapore. Now employing a director and run as a commercial entity – Forschungsgemeinschaft Bionik-Kompetenznetz eV – BIOKON has also been active in promoting biomimetics to German industry. In addition to a website and Biomimetic newsletter, BIOKON has coordinated a major exhibition stand at the Hannover Messe engineering fair in 2005. This display was funded jointly by BIOKON and the nine Ideas Projects Start-ups Products industry sponsors who exhibited. It allowed direct promotion of biomimetics to end-user Exhibit 5.1 Business development for biomimetic engineering industries by a variety of eye- compared to ‘normal’ ideas (after Bannasch) catching demonstrators and exhibits. BIOKON also provides an access mechanism for German industry to the research community. • The German Federal Ministry of Education It has run workshops for different market and Research (BMBF) sectors (eg automotive and marine). • Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) – German Environment Foundation At an international level, BIOKON provided • The state of Baden-Württemberg exhibits for the German pavilion at Japan • An increasing number of university sponsors Expo 2005, indicating the high regard with which this work is regarded by the German In Germany, the BIOKON network was set up Government as a promotional topic. in 2001 with six members and now comprises 52 members in 28 locations. The first round of Another networking opportunity in Germany has funding for BIOKON from BMBF was €2.4 been the creation of a bionics (biomimetics) million (~£1.6 million) from June 2001 to June working group within the Association of 2004. The success of BIOKON I led to a German Engineers (VDI). It has been noted by second round of funding for July 2004 to July the BIOKON network that publications involving 2007 (BIOKON II) in which BMBF awarded 20 industry sponsors are few, due to the research groups a total of €6 million (~£4.1 requirement to retain confidentiality. million), with the objective that the network becomes self-funding in 2007 BIOKON . One conclusion of the mission is that UK appears to have made good progress towards industry might fund significant research this objective by engaging German industry projects if they were more aware that the and setting up international links. approach existed, and understood the potential benefits. The key to removing this BIOKON members include universities, Max barrier appears to be the need to Planck Institutes and Fraunhofer research communicate and raise industry awareness. groups. The network provides internal networking infrastructure, as well as a A secondary funding initiative under the platform for international collaboration. BMBF framework programme has been a International links have been set up with funding competition primarily for young groups in the USA, Canada, UK, Norway, researchers, ‘Biotechnology – Using and 32
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Shaping its Opportunities’, which was From the research perspective, there are two launched in December 2003. The total major barriers which need to be addressed: funding of €1 million (~£680,000) was for around 20 demonstrator projects with the aim • Biomimetics is research-intensive and of early commercialisation. funding is therefore required from government or industry. Raising awareness 5.3 Incubators and consortia of the importance of the subject to decision-makers in government is GFaI is an interesting incubator model. important, as is also targeting potential Founded in 1990 as a not-for-profit industry sponsors. The network approach organisation, it now has 100 employees all can assist in this. developing computer science based businesses. GFaI receives 70% state (ie • Biomimetics is interdisciplinary, and needs Berlin) funding each year to which it must input from a range of disciplines. This match 30% from sales or industry income. mission witnessed involvement by Since GFaI is able to assign the government biologists, mathematicians, engineers, income as it wishes, and also agglomerates chemists and physicists to name but a few. commercial income, then projects which may Research funding therefore needs more not produce commercial income can survive ‘effort’ to overcome traditional funding the early stage of commercialisation by being down single-discipline streams (eg BBSRC ‘supported’ by the more commercially and EPSRC in the UK). developed projects. A significant number of commercial products The INPRO organisation is a joint-ownership were observed with apparently different development company owned by BASF exploitation models. The ‘fast track’ Coatings AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, IWKA AG, commercialisation route appeared to be those ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG, Volkswagen AG products deriving from research funded by, or and the city-state of Berlin. INPRO licensed to, large companies (eg Festo investigates and develops concepts and actuators, STO paint). Small spin-out products of interest to its owners, which were companies marketing a single product or not generally biomimetics but solved industrial concept (eg EvoLogics’ ‘fin ray effect’) were problems. This unusual model has potential if making inroads, but it seems that those a number of noncompetitive companies see based in a univeristy department derive benefit in sharing access to developments. benefit from the ’incubator’ environment, but not the immediate market access a host 5.4 Discussion and conclusions company can provide. An alternative model worthy of examination is the not-for-profit Engaging industry and generating wealth is an incubator ‘cooperative’ (eg GFaI acoustic important factor in biomimetics as in all camera, which receives Berlin-state funding innovation. Biomimetics has a credibility but must match this from its overall sales barrier with industry end users, due to lack of income). The INPRO model is another awareness, or wrong preconceptions. In unusual model, based on a joint-ownership Germany, the setting up of a network development company owned by BASF (BIOKON) has facilitated access by industry, Coatings AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, IWKA AG, networked the ‘solution providers’, and given ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG, Volkswagen critical mass for actively promoting the subject AG and the city-state of Berlin. and its products (eg at Hannover Messe). 33
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE The large and well-organised BIOKON commercial success in five or 10 years is network in Germany reflects the large impossible to estimate. However, many amount of government research funding certainly have the potential to succeed, and received by these institutions. Equivalents to developments such as the ‘dry adhesive’ Max Planck and Fraunhofer establishments based on the gecko foot could be as with their government or industry funding significant as Velcro. models hardly exist in the UK. It is therefore important that the UK funding bodies An ‘incubator’ model appears to work well in consider the most appropriate way to biomimetics, in which a university provides increase funding to this topic to the benefit of researchers with support for commercialising UK industry. products, and provides industry with a facilitated route to prototyping and development. The BIOKON network has had a major effect in promoting and organising German biomimetics research, and lessons from this should be applied to the UK situation. The size of this network (one of the German ‘Kompetenznetze’)9 is equivalent to a KTN in the UK. A European network concept was discussed during the mission, and received a generally favourable acceptance. Biomimetic solutions derived for specific industry problems appeared to be easier to market than generic solutions (eg dry adhesive), although the latter might have much larger commercial potential. The only real similarity between the commercialisation examples examined here is the diversity of the end products and the natural analogues from which inspiration was derived. This diversity embodies the ‘power’ of the biomimetics approach, and indicates that as a problem-solving or innovation tool it can be used by any industry for any problem. A significant number of the biomimetic solutions examined during the mission have clear end uses and markets. Some have been technology-driven solutions which, because of their effectiveness, have found industrial interest. Others have been funded by industry to solve a specific problem, and hence are market driven. A common feature was that they were all relatively ‘young’ in terms of development, and the potential 9 www.kompetenznetze.de 34
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 6 BIOMIMETICS AND PRODUCT DESIGN Geoff Hollington 6.1 Introduction incremental path of ‘improvement’, whereas 6.2 A technique, not a style the latter – visual taste and style – follows a 6.3 What product designers should more complex trajectory. Visual fashion, be it know in clothes, products or buildings, has a 6.4 What is the appeal to designers? progressive trend – a gradual one-way change 6.5 The commercial case influenced mainly by technology – and 6.6 Conclusions intertwined cyclical trends where preferences come and go, often returning to revisit certain 6.1 Introduction forms, details and colours again and again. When a product designer says that a particular In product design the fashion a decade ago design is influenced by nature, he or she is was for so-called ‘organic’ shapes, with most likely talking about its appearance: it has vehicles and consumer products encased in an ‘organic’ shape. Nature is a good teacher in smoothly flowing forms and curvy details. this regard, but imitating or being inspired by Bio-inspired perhaps, but not – as we have natural-looking forms, textures and colours seen – biomimetic. At present (2007) the alone is not biomimetics; to quote mission fashion is for a kind of post-Bauhaus member Dr Julian Vincent: ‘... biomimetics has minimalism, as exemplified in the work of to have some biology in it.’ By which he British-born design chief Jonathan Ive at means that, to be truly biomimetic, a design Apple. This design language is hard-edged should in some way be informed by nature’s and machine-like but succeeds in being science, not just its look. humane and friendly through its simplicity and careful use of materials. Although many designers are aware of some individual achievements of biomimetic This discussion of fashion and style is science and technology – non-wetting surface worthwhile because it is important to treatments for example – the subject does understand that biomimetics has nothing to not have a high profile in the design do with appearance. A biomimetic product community. The awareness, then, is could easily be designed to look zoomorphic, anecdotal rather than systematic; designers but it need not. A hard-edged and minimal simply are not exposed to the breadth of phone (for example) could be packed with activity and achievement in biomimetics, or to biomimetic innovations. So it is important for the opportunities it promises. Put simply, designers to understand that biomimetics biomimetics should be a standard part of the does not necessarily influence the product designer’s toolkit, but it is not. appearance and style of a product. It could, but it does not have to. 6.2 A technique, not a style 6.3 What product designers should Product design, like any other design field, is know a child of fashion. The things we make evolve along both technological and visual pathways No matter what your level of focus – from and we tend to see the former as a one-way, metres down to nanometres – biology does 35
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE things differently to human technology • Making a reduced materials repertoire (Exhibit 6.1). function in diverse ways by structuring surfaces Just to be aware of these differences is a • Learning from the designs of source of enlightenment to any product macrostructures in nature (eg squid designer, as they suggest routes for improving tentacle, penguin fluid dynamics, bamboo the ways we design and make things. At a stem etc) deeper level of engagement these insights • Developing product self-repair techniques can lead to new design strategies. • Employing evolutionary design processes • Informing man-machine interaction design 6.3.1 Who does what? through observation of animal behaviour Product designers can seek to imitate these 6.4 What is the appeal to designers? advantageous strategies in two ways: Inventors, engineers and product designers • As ‘clients’ for biomimetic materials, have always taken inspiration from nature, components and techniques generated by which is not surprising as we are animals technical R&D coming from either research ourselves, immersed in the diversity of or industry labs biology. But whereas until quite recently such biomimetic design was unpredictable, even • By employing biomimetic design accidental, it is now well advanced in the processes themselves process of becoming a stand-alone branch of technology. But ‘branch’ is hardly sufficient to As technology clients, designers can utilise describe a technology with access to such a (and support the development of) biomimetic wealth of source material and with such materials, processes and components. More breadth and depth of application. For all proactively, they can employ biomimetics intents and purposes the scope of themselves, for example, by: biomimetics is limitless; its lessons close to infinite in number. • Reducing the number of different materials in a product assembly, making So designers who choose to embrace recycling much easier (biology employs biomimetics will find it inspiring and liberating. very few materials, but combines them in It offers, in some ways, an alternative ‘lens’ complex composites) through which to contemplate any design Human technology Biology Nature’s advantage Creation by fabrication Creation by growth No assembly constraints, no screws! Survival by repetition Survival by variation Faults quickly eliminated, no product recalls! Improvement through design Improvement through evolution Continuous improvement, automatic design optimisation High-temperature processes Low-temperature processes Low energy, recyclable compounds Many materials Few materials Easier materials sourcing, easy recycling External repair Self repair Low-cost and fast repairs, minimum downtime, no call centres! Exhibit 6.1 Biology does things differently to human technology 36
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE challenge. It also offers a vast inventory of • A long-term education strategy should be sources and catalysts for invention and developed and properly funded to create innovation. In comparison, the ‘source book’ awareness of biomimetics amongst UK of schemes and models from human product designers in practice and in technology is a thin volume. education 6.5 The commercial case • Networks, workshops and events could help forge links and transfer knowledge Product design (alternatively called industrial between the design and technical design) is a youngish profession – no more communities than 70 years old. But its maturity is much more recent, just a decade or two. Prior to that, it would not have been possible to say that product designers initiate a high proportion of the innovation and creativity in product development or that they represent a broad conduit for the introduction of new materials and processes, as is now the case. Designers operate in a competitive environment where early adoption and innovation are the most useful survival strategies. They also have a direct influence on technology adoption and material and component specification. Finally, product designers have a self-appointed duty to track and investigate what they, or we, might call ‘cool new stuff’. Biomimetics offers competitive advantages to suppliers of materials, processes and components, and to the makers and brand owners of finished products. Product designers represent one important and well- defined channel for dissemination. 6.6 Conclusions • Every product designer, whether in consultancy or employed in-house, should be aware of biomimetics and its innovation potential; biomimetics should therefore be part of every designer’s standard toolkit • UK product design will be strengthened and made more competitive through the increased awareness of biomimetics 37
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 7 INTEGRATING BIOMIMETICS INTO PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Matthias Gester 7.1 Introduction • A technical problem is identified by an 7.2 Processes engineer who then looks to nature for a 7.3 Tools solution – this biomimetic process is often 7.4 Conclusions and recommendations referred to as top-down 7.1 Introduction • A natural phenomenon is researched and understood by a biologist who then seeks This chapter examines the biomimetic for an application in the technical world – processes used to date to generate the this biomimetic process is often referred to successful engineering solutions and as bottom-up opportunities inspired by biological systems, and how these processes can be formalised 7.2.1 Top-down process so they become more readily available to both biologists and engineers. As illustrated in Exhibit 7 the top-down .1, process comprises the following steps: 7.2 Processes • Formulate the technical problem As previous examples show, an engineering • Seek for analogies in biology material or a technical device can be designed • Identify corresponding principles through inspiration by nature in two ways: • Abstract from the biological model • Implement technology through prototyping and testing Exhibit 7.1 Top-down process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) 38
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE The top-down approach was used by By considering biomimetics as a process to DaimlerChrysler to reduce the drag of a car, solve only an existing technical problem which could still carry four passengers and another aspect is completely lost: luggage. Studies of the shape of the boxfish biomimetics also offers opportunities for led to the development of the bionic car. In completely new materials and devices. This is another example, BEAM, a spin-out from Delft achieved by the bottom-up process, University in the Netherlands, wanted to considered next. develop a flexible endoscope. A mechanism for bending the outer tube of an endoscope was 7.2.2 Bottom-up process designed in analogy of the squid’s tentacles. As illustrated in Exhibit 7 the bottom-up .2, In the case of the DaimlerChrysler bionic car, process comprises the following steps: an engineer was aware of the biomimetic process through training. In general, however, • Identify a biological system biomimetics is not an established process • Analyse biomechanics, functional which an engineer would consider when morphology and anatomy embarking on the design of a new product. To • Understand the principles become a standard process, biomimetics • Abstract from the biological model needs to be included in the education of the • Implement technology through prototyping modern engineer. In addition, information and testing needs to be available which relates the biological structure and function of a multitude The bottom-up approach led to the discovery of natural organisms so that analogues with and exploitation of the lotus effect. It had technical systems can be drawn. been observed a long time ago that the leaves of the lotus plant not only repel water Exhibit 7.2 Bottom-up process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) 39
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE but also have the tendency to clean solving technical problems assuming that a themselves. Study of the microstructure at solution can be derived from the analysis of the Institute for Materials Research at the existing solutions to problems which share University of Karlsruhe, and later common characteristics. For this purpose the understanding of its function, led to the ideal result and its constraints are first development of superhydrophobic coatings. defined and then used to look up solution Another example is the development of dry principles from a matrix. To make this system adhesives based on the analysis of the micro- useful as a bionic engineering tool, the and nanostructure of the gecko’s foot at the existing data have to be assembled in a Centre for Tribology of Biological and Bio- database and a larger number of biological inspired Surfaces at the Max Planck Institute systems need to be analysed and added to for Metals Research in Stuttgart. this database. It is often difficult for a biological expert, who A complementary database system is being has studied an organism and identified that developed at the Centre for Tribology of nature’s design offers a valuable technical Biological and Bio-inspired Surfaces at the opportunity, to find an engineering partner to Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in implement the concept. Stuttgart by Dr Wegst. This system is based on the Cambridge Materials Selector and lists Regardless whether biology or technology is about 1,000 biological materials with the starting point for the biomimetic process, attributes. The database is searched and used both cases rely on an intimate in the same way as the materials selector interdisciplinary collaboration to generate a and so can suggest suitable materials for successful new material or device. This is particular applications. Dr Wegst is obvious from all the examples given in introducing elements of the TRIZ system to previous chapters. For instance, ITV suggest improvements. Denkendorf was able to use detailed biological studies from the University of Finally, it is possible to use a lexical search Freiburg and combine these with its expertise method in which biological texts are searched in textile manufacturing and an understanding for keywords corresponding to the terminology of industrial requirements to generate new in which an engineering problem can be materials, such as the lotus coated textiles described. This method is fairly quick and and plant stem structures. simple but relies on finding a suitable translation of engineering terminology into 7.3 Tools biology, and its outcome depends on the availability and quality of the biological literature. If a solution for an existing problem or a new business opportunity is sought or found 7.4 Conclusion and recommendations through inspiration from nature, the need arises for a more systematic biomimetic There are two processes to generate process. For this purpose, three different technical solutions and opportunities inspired tools are currently being developed. by nature, both of which rely on the close collaboration of biologists and engineers. A TRIZ-based system to transfer functions, Increased awareness of these processes is mechanisms and principles from biology to required to fully lever the benefits of engineering has been pioneered at the biomimetics as a valuable complementary Engineering Department of the University of approach to engineering. Universities may Bath. TRIZ was developed in Russia for contribute through teaching bionics as part of 40
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE engineering degrees. However, more importantly, network formation of parties active or interested in biomimetics is necessary, in particular since ultimately only the collaborative work of biologists and engineers will generate successful results. Systematic tools, which still require more resources to be developed into useful engineering aids, cannot replace the interdisciplinary biomimetics process. In Germany, partners can be found through contacting the BIOKON network, which with 270 academic and industrial members in its fifth year is a model for bringing partners together. However, the UK BIONIS network so far lacks proper funding and administrative support, which leaves individuals in the universities of Reading and Bath as the key points of contact. 41
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Cathy Barnes 8.1 Conclusions Perhaps more commercially viable opportunities 8.2 Recommendations are to be found from research which focuses from the opposite standpoint. This means that a 8.1 Conclusions problem is technologically defined and then appropriate biological solutions are searched. The mission team found a rich and diverse This method has its own issues as biology is an biomimetics research community in Germany extremely large search space that is not fully and the Netherlands whose key strengths mapped or understood. were the size of the community as supported by public research funding and the However, perhaps the key to understanding coordination of the work as exemplified by the role of biomimetics in product design is the BIOKON network. Despite this, there the fact that the reason for the success of any were still few examples of true technology product is not that it can trace its roots back to transfer into real commercial applications. a natural principle but that it is an example of Empirical evidence from the discussions good design! Biomimetics is a philosophical indicates that this discipline is reaching a new approach that can lead to novel ideas and stage of maturity and commercial successes innovative solutions that have many potential may not be far away. The steerable advantages, for example from functional, endoscopes for laparoscopic surgery from the sustainability or weight perspectives. University of Delft are a good example of this. 8.2 Recommendations The BIOKON network appears to work extremely successfully. It provides a single The UK requires a networked resource to point of contact for industry to access all the bring together the work in this area and thus exciting work on biomimetics in Germany and support the industrial application of this provides a seamless process to link the exciting topic. This should encompass: commercial world and academic research. The support and coordination of the BIOKON • The creation of a biological consultancy organisation has allowed German group to advise industry on how to apply biomimetics research to generate significant techniques and to advise on novel solutions exposure and momentum which has in turn increased funding and awareness of the topic • A formal link to the research covered by as a route to product innovation. Biomimetics the BIOKON group and other centres of research in the UK has coalesced into the excellence in the European Union (EU) to BIONIS network but the small amount of ensure leverage is gained from the allocated funding has meant little progress in knowledge generated in other countries – raising awareness and exposure. the EU could possibly look to fund this as part of a Seventh Framework The team observed two opposite approaches Programme initiative to the application of biomimetic principles. Many research institutes were studying nature • Activities to raise awareness of this issue with the intent of finding a new technology to both industry and potential funders that could be applied to industrial problems. (DTI, research councils etc) 42
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Education is key to the expansion of biomimetics. It should be included in the education syllabus of engineers and designers to make them aware of the potential of the approach. The biological sciences should be made aware of the commercial applications of their knowledge. Benefits of awareness and exposure will be evidenced when the cohorts of these disciplines enter the commercial domain. Funding should be made available to support the training of the next generation of experts in this area to ensure succession of this important topic in the UK. However, research is still needed to identify a process for integrating biomimetics within the product development cycle and to ensure the designers of tomorrow are fully aware of the significant opportunities nature can offer to improving product success. 43
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix A SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING Ball P (2001). Life’s lessons in design. Nature 409, 413-416 Benyus J M (1997). Biomimicry: innovation inspired by nature. William Morrow Beukers A and Hinte E v (1998). Lightness: the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures. Rotterdam: 010 Press Gibson L J and Ashby M F (1997). Cellular solids, structure and properties. Cambridge: University Press. Godfaurd J, Clements-Croome D and Jeronimidis G (2005). Sustainable building solutions: a review of lessons from the natural world. Building and Environment 40, 319-328 Gorb S (2001). Attachment devices of insect cuticle. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Gordon J E (1987). The science of structures and materials. New York: Freeman Kaplan D L (1998). Mollusc shell structures: novel design strategies for synthetic materials. Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science 3, 232-236 Mann S (1996). Biomimetic materials chemistry. VCH Mattheck C (1998). Design in nature – learning from trees. Heidelberg: Springer Milwich M, Speck T, Speck O, Stegmaier T and Planck H (2006). Biomimetics and technical textiles: solving engineering problems with the help of nature’s wisdom. American Journal of Botany 93, 1455-1465 Sanchez C, Arribart H and Giraud Guille M M (2005). Biomimetism and bioinspiration as tools for the design of innovative materials and systems. Nature Materials 4, 277-288 Shu L H and Chiu I (2004). Natural language analysis for biomimetic design. In ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, pp DETC2004-57250, 1-9 Vincent J F V, Bogatyreva O A, Bogatyrev N R, Bowyer A and Pahl A-K (2006). Biomimetics – its practice and theory. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 3, 471-482 Wainwright S A, Biggs W D, Currey J D and Gosline J M (1976). The mechanical design of organisms. London: Arnold 44
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix B HOST ORGANISATIONS B.1 Organisations met B.2 Locations visited • Philips, Eindhoven British Embassy • DaimlerChrysler, Ulm Lange Voorhout 10 • University of Delft 2514 ED The Hague • University of Groningen The Netherlands • DEAM, Delft • Institute for Textile Technology and Process Institut für Textil- und Verfahrenstechnik (ITV) Engineering (ITV Denkendorf) (Institute for Textile Technology and Process • University of Freiburg: Plant Biomechanics Engineering) Group Koerschtalstraße 26 • Max Planck Institute for Metals Research: D-73770 Denkendorf Evolutionary Biomaterials Group, Stuttgart Germany • Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam Evolutionary Biomaterials Group • Technical University of Berlin Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung • EvoLogics GmbH, Berlin (Max Planck Institute for Metals Research) • INPRO, Berlin Heisenbergstraße 03 • Institute for Industrial Design, Magdeburg D-70569 Stuttgart • Hexagon Germany • Society for the Promotion of Applied Computer Science (GFaI), Berlin Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und • University of Potsdam Grenzflächenforschung (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces) Department of Biomaterials Wissenschaftspark Golm D-14424 Potsdam Germany EvoLogics GmbH, F&E Labor Bionik Ackerstrasse 76 D-13355 Berlin Germany 45
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE B.3 BIOKON network The Bionics Competence Network (BIOKON) hosts the 28 major players in the field of bionics and biomimetics in Germany. It is a federally funded project under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The aim of BIOKON is to demonstrate the possibilities of bionics to business and industry, science and the general public, and subsequently tap its full potential. Founded in 2001, BIOKON entered its second stage in June 2004. The group of six founding centres has since been expanded by 28 additional institutes and research facilities with outstanding competences in the field of bionics. This nationwide network thus encompasses the most important research groups in bionics and provides an ideal forum for scientific exchange, the development of curricula for primary, secondary and tertiary education as well as providing qualified Exhibit B.1 Map of BIOKON network (courtesy contacts for inquiries from the industry. BIOKON) (Source: www.biokon.net – accessed 24 January 2007) 46
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix C MISSION PARTICIPANTS Dr Cathy Barnes is a lecturer in Design and Manufacture Integration in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds and Human Sciences and Design Network Manager at Faraday Packaging Partnership. Her research interests focus on the human interface of design and manufacturing and include affective design, emotional tribology and decision-based concurrent engineering Dr Cathy Barnes and she has published extensively in these Network Manager – Human Sciences and areas. She is leading the development of Design affective engineering tools in a funded collaboration with nine major consumer Faraday Packaging Partnership goods companies and has particular 3320 Century Way experience of experimental design, textural Thorpe Park analysis and self-report elicitation of user Leeds feelings about products. LS15 8ZB UK T +44 (0)113 284 0217 F +44 (0)113 284 0211 info@faradaypackaging.com www.faradaypackaging.com 47
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Julian Vincent is a biologist. Commitment to the study of insects (age six) led him to a first degree in zoology (age 22), a PhD in insect hormones (age 25) and a DSc in mechanical properties of insect cuticle (age 37). As a lecturer in Zoology at the University of Reading, becoming ever more interested in the interplay between biology and technology, he established, with George Jeronimidis, the Centre for Biomimetics at Reading. He was Professor Julian Vincent then invited to join the Department of Professor of Biomimetics Mechanical Engineering and Design at the University of Bath, where he established the University of Bath Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies. Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies He is married to Elizabeth, a botanist. They Department of Mechanical Engineering have a daughter, Helen, who works for Bath BioRegional establishing protocols for BA2 7AY sustainable living. UK T +44 (0)1225 826 933 F +44 (0)1225 826 928 biomimetics@bath.ac.uk www.bath.ac.uk/mech-eng/biomimetics 48
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Through most of his career Geoff has run his own London-based consulting firm, creating products for big international brands. He has always been an innovator, combining technical and aesthetic invention in products that often advance the state of the art. His Relay office furniture group for US giant Herman Miller was the first product to anticipate the modern organisation’s need for instant flexibility and mobility in the Geoff Hollington workplace: it won an IDEA/Business Week gold award. Hollington Associates Geoff also designed Sonnet – the classic, T +44 (0)7770 567 669 best-selling Parker pen. geoff.h@hollington.co.uk www.hollington.co.uk In 2003 he formed a high-tech start-up company to develop and market an advanced, Geoff is a product designer, innovator and digital massager. The product, launched in commentator on design. He studied Industrial spring 2006, took Geoff to China where he Design at the Central School (now the spent much of 2005 learning the hard way University of the Arts) in London, followed by how to develop and manufacture high-tech a postgraduate degree in environmental products there. design at London’s Royal College of Art. Geoff is author of many technical patents. His work has won international awards and is held in museum collections. He has written about design in newspapers and magazines and is a regular columnist on the topic of automotive design. He has also given talks to audiences around the world, particularly in the USA. In education Geoff has taught at Kingston University, Ravensbourne College of Art and the Royal College of Art in the UK, and has moderated PhDs and been external examiner for postgraduate degrees, particularly at the Royal College. In January 2007 Geoff became a Design Mentor to the Materials and Design Exchange, a node of the Materials KTN. Geoff is married to Liz, has four children and lives in Lewes on the English coast, 50 miles south of London. 49
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Matthias Gester works for Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the Future Technologies group at the Gillette Advanced Technology Centre in Reading. His responsibilities include the identification, evaluation and implementation of new technologies to generate concepts for hair removal devices with enhanced consumer benefits. Previously he worked in the aerospace industry and in technology consulting. Matthias read physics at the Technical University in Munich and obtained a Dr Matthias Gester PhD from Cambridge University. Senior Scientist P&G (founded in 1837 HQ in Cincinnati, Ohio, , Procter & Gamble USA) produces world-renowned brands of Gillette Advanced Technology Centre consumer products for household care, 460 Basingstoke Road beauty and healthcare and family and baby Reading care. In 2005, P&G had 140,000 employees RG2 0QE worldwide and generated total net sales of UK $68 billion (~£35 billion). The company invested approximately $1.8 billion (~£930 T +44 (0)118 923 1713 million) into R&D carried out in 25 centres F +44 (0)118 975 2822 across the globe. Gillette joined P&G in matthias_gester@gillette.com October 2005. www.pg.com 50
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Martin Kemp has nearly five years’ experience assisting UK organisations find technology partners across Western Europe. Formerly a Materials Scientist with experience of biomimetics research at QinetiQ (formerly DERA), he has 10 years’ experience of marketing and selling innovation to UK and overseas markets. He specialises in advanced materials and nanotechnology, and has overseen five Dr Martin Kemp overseas technology missions. International Technology Promoter Organisations wishing to discuss overseas DTI Global Watch Service technology and partnering opportunities are Pera invited to make contact. Pera Innovation Park Nottingham Road Melton Mowbray Leicestershire LE13 0PB UK T +44 (0)1664 501 551 M +44 (0)7736 447 876 F +44 (0)1664 501 261 martin.kemp@pera.com www.globalwatchservice.com 51
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Patrick Poitevin is of Belgian origin. He worked for Estée Lauder Companies for nearly two decades. Thereafter he worked as Packaging Technologist at the Nestlé Group, Campina, Coty Inc and Marks & Spencer. In October 2005 he took up his present post as Packaging Development & Innovation Manager at COSi Ltd. His passion for packaging leads to innovation in any aspect.‘There is nothing such as an Patrick Poitevin innovation. Somewhere there is a duplicate, Packaging Development & Innovation an idea, or a copy we can use in our industry. Manager There are no barriers, nature supplies it all.’ COSi Ltd COSi (Creative Outsourcing Solutions Watersmead Business Park International) develops and manufactures Littlehampton colour cosmetics, fragrances and personal West Sussex care products for brand owners all over the BN17 6LS world. Imagination and innovation is at the UK core of everything COSi does, from the design studio to the factory floor, from the T +44 (0)1903 278 000 development of an individual to the strategic F +44 (0)1903 278 004 direction of the company. It is embedded in patrick.poitevin@cosiworld.com COSi’s culture. www.cosiworld.com COSi was founded in 1992 and now employs over 1,200 people within R&D and at its two plants in the UK. A third beauty plant, in Shanghai, China, is due to commence operations in 2007 Sales and sourcing offices . are located in Shanghai, New York, Paris, Florence and Dallas. A state-of-the-art R&D laboratory in West Sussex houses four individual R&D teams (colour cosmetics, skin care, hair care and bath & body) that work closely with a highly innovative packaging development team headed up by Patrick Poitevin. Trend prediction and overall direction for product development is led by COSi’s product marketing team who have completely embraced the global marketplace. COSi has won numerous awards for innovation, manufacturing and employee development. 52
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE He is the packaging specialist of the innovation team and brings to the table a fresh approach and a sound technical knowledge. His fields of interest are new packaging materials, packaging design and logistics. Outside work Johannes spends time playing in his rock band and snow boarding. The Innovation Centre, with a focus on creativity in problem solving, intelligent Johannes Schampel research capabilities and knowledge Packaging Specialist management, offers an unprecedented service to ColepCCL customers. Working as ’s ColepCCL UK Ltd a central network hub of knowledge, the Atkinson Way Innovation Centre also draws on expertise Foxhills Industrial Park from suppliers, academic institutions and Scunthorpe industries outside ColepCCL normal sphere ’s DN15 8QJ of operation, to bring to customers the most UK attractive ideas and solutions. This dynamic approach, and the use of an innovation T +49 173 945 9850 process management system tailored to johannes.schampel@colepccl.com customer needs, supports the vision to www.colepccl.com reshape the packaging industry. Johannes joined ColepCCL in March 2006, as With a multinational and multidisciplinary the Innovation Centre was launched, as a group of trained people, ColepCCL Innovation ’s graduate of Packaging Engineering from the Centre enhances the strategy to deliver a full University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart. As part package solution to the customer, including of his studies, he worked in collaboration with rapid prototyping and product formulation in several partners in the FMCG, pharmaceutical, high-end state-of-the-art facilities (European food and automation industries. Centre of Application Technology). ColepCCL is Europe’s largest contract manufacturer of personal care, cosmetic, over- the-counter pharmaceutical and household products. The company was founded in 2004 by the merger of Colep, the Portuguese producer of steel aerosol and general line cans and an aerosol filler, and CCL Europe, contract manufacturer of various products and a subsidiary of CCL Industries in Canada. ColepCCL is a pan-European group in Germany, Portugal, Spain, Poland and the UK. The group has a turnover of around €300 million (~£200 million) and employs 2,100 people throughout Europe. 53
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Brian Knott is a Materials Advisor working for the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). With a background in failure analysis his major role is to provide help and guidance to industrial companies on selection of the appropriate material and manufacturing process for a given requirement. In addition he has been actively engaged in IOM3’s efforts to link the materials and the design community through the Materials and Design Exchange (MADE), the new design node of Brian Knott the DTI’s Materials KTN. Materials Advisor One of his major responsibilities under MADE Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining has been the organisation of a series of (IOM3) workshops that address technology 1 Carlton House Terrace awareness needs for the design community London both in London and the regions. The workshop SW1Y 5DB topics include nanotechnology, new materials, UK medical devices and ‘green’ polymers. T +44 (0)1494 528 718 He is also aiding the development of a physical brian.knott@iom3.org resource centre which will eventually have over www.iom3.org 600 separate material samples suitably catalogued with supporting information. 54
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Phil Richardson, a strategy and process consultant, runs the consulting division of Thoughtcrew Ltd. He is responsible for managing a range of business transformation programmes for leading blue-chip organisations and local government. In this role he provides challenge and leadership in combined consulting and client teams aimed at significantly improving the client’s business condition. Phil is researching a PhD in biomimetics at Phil Richardson the University of Bath; he is also an associate Director of Consulting lecturer for the Open University Business School MBA and a Chartered Biologist. Thoughtcrew Ltd Mill House Thoughtcrew Ltd was formed in 2000 to Carlingcott provide a peer-level support service to busy Bath executives needing to define and deliver BA2 8AP significant change. It specialises in process UK thinking, strategic challenge and a clear focus on the customer. Projects are delivered T +44 (0)208 133 4728 collaboratively with clients. In most cases, F +44 (0)870 133 6532 Thoughtcrew gets involved in the ‘How do I www.thoughtcrew.net sell this idea to my executive colleagues’ stage of thinking, then works through until the problem is solved and the results are realised. 55
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix D LIST OF EXHIBITS Exhibit Page Caption 1.1 7 Mission team at the Radisson Hotel, Berlin; L Matthias Gester, Geoff -R: Hollington, Martin Kemp, Julian Vincent, Cathy Barnes, Patrick Poitevin (front), Johannes Schampel (behind), Brian Knott, Phil Richardson 3.1 14 Fingerprint-free coatings on highly shiny metallised and anodised personal care components (courtesy COSi) 3.2 14 Ink-jet printing for displays and biomedical applications (courtesy Philips) 3.3 14 Dynamic wetting of porous Teflon surfaces based on lotus leaf (courtesy University of Cambridge) 3.4 15 Lotus effect on textiles (courtesy ITV) 3.5 15 Coating containing electrostatic particles (courtesy ITV) 3.6 15 Composite profiles modelled on plant stems (courtesy ITV) 3.7 15 Transparent light transfer inspired by polar bear hair (courtesy ITV/P Poitevin) 3.8 16 Aerodynamics application by DaimlerChrysler (courtesy BIOKON, Germany) 3.9 16 Dry adhesive (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart) 3.10 16 Dry adhesive applications (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart) 3.11 16 Head-arresting system in dragonflies (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart) 3.12 17 Models from trees, bamboos and vines used for construction in aircraft, cars, roofs and bridges (courtesy University of Freiburg) 3.13 17 Glass fibre construction (courtesy Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Berlin) 3.14 17 Cell wall constructions for wood (courtesy Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Berlin) 3.15 18 Acoustic camera (courtesy Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Informatik – GFaI, Berlin) 3.16 18 Surface applications inspired by penguins, lotus leaves, dolphins, sharks, geckos and sandfish (courtesy BIOKON, Germany) 3.17 18 Fin ray effect used for ergonomic chair (courtesy BIOKON, Germany/ P Poitevin) 3.18 19 Fin ray effect can also be used in the packaging printing industry, such as glass, where tolerances are too large for proper jig printing (courtesy BIOKON, Germany/P Poitevin) 3.19 19 Modular walking robots (courtesy University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg- Stendal) 3.20 19 Reduction of materials conception (courtesy Dr Mirtsch/P Poitevin) 56
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit Page Caption 4.1 21 Metal trees supporting the roof of Stuttgart Airport (courtesy www.stuttgart-airport.com) 4.2 22 Optimum structure for a centrally loaded beam after 10 iterations (courtesy Prof Claus Mattheck) 4.3 22 Bionic car concept by DaimlerChrysler 4.4 23 Cilium-like plate created by Philips 4.5 23 Multiple ‘cilia’ incorporated in a microchannel by Philips 4.6 24 Dry adhesives 4.7 25 Schematic cross section of the tentacle of the loliginid squid. The tentacle is surrounded by longitudinal and helical muscle layers (LML and HML). The cross section contains a ring of longitudinal muscle bundles (LMB) which are enclosed by transverse and circular muscle fibres (TMF and CMF) 4.8 25 Endo-Periscope developed by University of Delft in cooperation with Tokyo Institute of Technology 4.9 26 ITV’s filter system equipment with the filter tube in the pipe on the right side 4.10 26 ITV’s braided bag filter (a) stretched, (b) relaxed 4.11 27 Fin ray 4.12 27 Spherical array, 32-channel acoustic camera system for interior use 4.13 28 Bionic propeller from EvoLogics GmbH 4.14 28 Model of stem structure 4.15 29 Technical plant stem developed by University of Freiburg in collaboration with ITV Denkendorf 5.1 32 Business development for biomimetic compared to ‘normal’ ideas (after Bannasch) 6.1 36 Biology does things differently to human technology 7.1 38 Top-down process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) 7.2 39 Bottom-up process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) B.1 46 Map of BIOKON network (courtesy BIOKON) 57
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix E GLOSSARY ~ approximately ≈ approximately equal to % per cent € euro (€1 ≈ £0.681 ≈ $1.31, Mar 07) £ pound sterling (£1 ≈ €1.47 ≈ $1.93, Mar 07) $ US dollar ($1 ≈ £0.519 ≈ €0.762, Mar 07) ΔV voltage difference µL microlitre = 10-6 L = 10-9 m3 µm micrometre = 10-6 m 3D three-dimensional AG Aktiengesellschaft – shareholding company ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers (USA) BBSRC Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK) BIOKON Bionik-Kompetenz-Netz – Bionics Competence Network (Germany) BIONIS Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability (UK) BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany) CAD computer-aided design cm centimetre = 0.01 m CMF circular muscle fibre COSi Creative Outsourcing Solutions International Cr chromium DBU Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt – German Environment Foundation DERA Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (MOD, UK) DOF degree of freedom Dr Doctor DSc Doctor of Science DTI Department of Trade and Industry (UK) EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK) ESA European Space Agency EU European Union F fax FE finite element FMCG fast-moving consumer good(s) FPP Faraday Packaging Partnership – a specialist applications node of the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network (UK) GFaI Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Informatik – Society for the Promotion of Applied Computer Science (Berlin, Germany) GmbH Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung – limited company HML helical muscle layer hp horsepower = 745.7 W HQ headquarters 58
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE IDEA Industrial Design Excellence Award IOM3 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (UK) IR infrared ITV Institut für Textil- und Verfahrenstechnik – Institute for Textile Technology and Process Engineering (Denkendorf, Germany) J joule – unit of work or energy = 1 N m = 1 W s kg kilogram KTN Knowledge Transfer Network (UK) L (1) left (2) litre = 0.001 m3 LMB longitudinal muscle bundle LML longitudinal muscle layer Ltd Limited (company) m metre m3 cubic metre M mobile (telephone) MADE Materials and Design Exchange (design node of the Materials KTN, UK) MBA Master of Business Administration mm millimetre = 0.001 m MOD Ministry of Defence (UK) MPI Max Planck Institute (Germany) N newton – unit of force = 1 kg m/s2 nm nanometre = 10-9 m P&G Procter & Gamble PC personal computer PhD Doctor of Philosophy R right R&D research and development s second SiO2 silicon dioxide SKO soft kill option SME small or medium-sized enterprise T telephone TMF transverse muscle fibre TRIZ Teorija Reshenija Izobretatel’skih Zadach – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving TU Technical University UK United Kingdom US(A) United States (of America) UV ultraviolet V voltage VDI Verein Deutscher Ingenieure – Association of German Engineers W watt – unit of power = 1 J/s 59
    • BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix F ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would like to thank the following for their help in making this mission such a success: • His Excellency the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Lyn Parker • Professor Rudolf Bannasch • Dr Ingo Klein • Professor Jaap den Toonder • Professor Peter Fratzl • Professor Stanislav Gorb • Dr Ulrike G K Wegst • Dr Dagmar Voigt • Mr Leo Zonneveld • Dr Konrad Götz • Professor Dr C M Jonker • Dr Jules S Scheltes • Dr Thomas Stegmaier • Dr Tom Masselter And a special mention for helping behind the scenes: • Robert Dugon, DTI • Sarah Woodman, FCM Travel • Charlotte Leiper, Pera • Sarah Fenn, FPP 60
    • Other DTI products that help UK businesses acquire and exploit new technologies Grant for Research and Development – Collaborative Research and Development – is available through the nine English Regional helps industry and research communities work Development Agencies. The Grant for Research together on R&D projects in strategically and Development provides funds for individuals important areas of science, engineering and and SMEs to research and develop technologically technology, from which successful new products, innovative products and processes. The grant is processes and services can emerge. only available in England (the Devolved www.dti.gov.uk/crd/ Administrations have their own initiatives). www.dti.gov.uk/r-d/ Access to Best Business Practice – is available through the Business Link network. This initiative The Small Firms Loan Guarantee – is a UK- aims to ensure UK business has access to best wide, Government-backed scheme that provides business practice information for improved guarantees on loans for start-ups and young performance. businesses with viable business propositions. www.dti.gov.uk/bestpractice/ www.dti.gov.uk/sflg/pdfs/sflg_booklet.pdf Support to Implement Best Business Practice Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – enable – offers practical, tailored support for small and private and public sector research organisations medium-sized businesses to implement best to apply their research knowledge to important practice business improvements. business problems. Specific technology transfer www.dti.gov.uk/implementbestpractice/ projects are managed, over a period of one to three years, in partnership with a university, Finance to Encourage Investment in Selected college or research organisation that has Areas of England – is designed to support expertise relevant to your business. businesses looking at the possibility of investing www.ktponline.org.uk/ in a designated Assisted Area but needing financial help to realise their plans, normally in Knowledge Transfer Networks – aim to improve the form of a grant or occasionally a loan. the UK’s innovation performance through a single www.dti.gov.uk/regionalinvestment/ national over-arching network in a specific field of technology or business application. A KTN aims to encourage active participation of all networks currently operating in the field and to establish connections with networks in other fields that have common interest. www.dti.gov.uk/ktn/
    • Printed in the UK on recycled paper with 75% de-inked post-consumer waste content First published in March 2007 by Pera on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry © Crown copyright 2007 URN 07/504