All along its history, humankind has been turning to nature for help in dealing with intractable problems and complex engineering tasks. It turns out that many common things like hydraulic pumps and brakes, black boxes and even Velcro fasteners were copied from animals or plants. The mid-20th century witnessed the emergence of b biomimicry, a new area in applied science. What is it about? Why do we “steal” inventions from nature? How do we use biomimicry in our daily life? How do animals and plants help architects, engineers and even doctors?
Ilya Gomyranov is a zoologist, an employee of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), and a winner of the Russian “For Fidelity to Science” award.