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The Venus’ flower basket as a role model

A Bavarian project group is investigating how biological models can be leveraged for technical innovation. It is focusing mainly on both sustainable and better products.

24 Jul. 2019
HMI-ID07-016br_Bionicum_SteffiApenburg
Photo: Bionicum/Steffi Apenburg

Several Bavarian technical colleges and universities - TH Deggendorf, Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Bionicum Nuremburg, University of Bayreuth, TUM Straubing and TH Nuremberg - are combining their expertise in the BayBionik – From Nature to Technology project group. The project aims to follow nature’s example to produce technical products in an environmentally compatible, resource-saving and energy-saving manner.

Among other things, the scientists want to produce bio-inspired “fiber optic cables” from environmentally-friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable substances. The Venus’ flower basket’s light conducting glass needles serve as a model for the fiber, while the durable and flexible spider silk is used for the coating. Other development objectives include self-cleaning, sustainable surfaces for the automotive industry or shipbuilding, bioceramics modelled on mother-of-pearl, and more flexible joints for cobots inspired by the flexible neck joint of owls. The Bionicum visitor center in Nuremberg Zoo is accompanying the projects and making bionics research accessible to the public. The project group is receiving 1.8 million euros in funding from the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment.

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