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biomimicryImitating nature in man-made systems. Examples are a film similar to the coating on a moth's eyeballs that minimizes screen glare, a directional microphone that mimics the moving hairs on crickets, and a waterproof coating that emulates the grooves and wax coating on a butterfly's wings.
A very notable example is the Eastgate Center in Harare, Zimbabwe. Built in 1996, this shopping and office complex was constructed using principles discovered in termite mounds in the desert. Termites maintain an almost perfectly uniform temperature for their food inside their tunnels, even though outside temperatures range from near freezing at night to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the day. The even temperature is accomplished by continuously opening and closing a series of vents throughout the day. Eastgate uses 10% of the energy of a traditional building to keep cool. See bionic.
A new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The application of methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. It uses an ecological standard to judge the rightness of our innovations. After 3.8 billion years of evolution, nature has learned what works, what is appropriate, and what lasts.