Owl-Inspired sound-minimization technology
Highlight: “As they swoop down on mice at night, the prey have no idea what’s coming. This is because owls are the experts of silent flight. By studying how the birds manage this stealthy feat, scientists have developed a sound-dampening technology that could be used to coat wind turbines, airplane wings, and even the fans of computers, to make them quieter.”
Insight: Sound is an omnipresent pollution in modern society. While we tend to forget about it, people living in cities especially are constantly exposed to sounds of various intensity and long exposures have been linked to several health impacts.
A lot of these sounds come from rotating parts and more precisely blades. It is surprising that the practice of design replication is common in the industrial business world even though it may not be the best. Most blades follow the same basic design without much customization when in fact it is obvious that greater energy gains and side benefits can be achieved through adaptive innovation.
As a case study the aeronautic industry has achieved good results in recent years in sound reduction and fuel consumption through measures which includes a simple redesign of their engines blades. Sometimes the greatest improvements come from the least expected systems parts…
More information: here
What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…