The human species has much to learn to live a truly sustainable life within the resources that are provided on the planet. All species have to breathe drink eat and have shelter. Nature has provided us with opportunities to model our lifestyles without destroying what we enjoy.
There is no waste within nature's ecosysyem services. All products, species have a role to play in a closed loop system. Our throw away - out of sight - out of mind lifestyle is creating many challenging for the global and local human community to research and solve in creative innovative ways. Biomimicy - when we understand the process and system - potentially has answres for us.
Business as usual is not the solution. Rushing in and rebuilding and repeating errors and poor decisions from the past is not the solution.
Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.
The world we share with other species of nature - all co-existing on the one plant and sharing the same biosphere - has many life skills to share with us - if we can only see and understand. Tom McKeag who teaches bio-inspired design at the California College of the Arts and University of California, Berkeley has nominated his 2009 Tommy Awards.
He has also decided to give the awards to the creatures that inspired the innovation, rather than the human inventors. This is an amazing new non-destructive application of technology and a whole new world for design.
The penguin, in the strictest biomechanical sense, doesn't really swim underwater, but rather flies. That is, the creature gets both lift and thrust from the action of its flapping, planar wings. It has inspired the latest development in robots highlighted by the German engineering firm Festo AG at the Hanover Messe Trade Exhibition in April.
The Aquapenguin mimics the hydrodynamic body features of the bird and is made with soft material and glass fibre rods, a motor and 3D sonar device by Evologics of Berlin. These allow the bot to swim with great flexibility and avoid collisions with obstacles or other swimmers, important in situations demanding a high degree of flexibility and autonomy. Festo has already developed a commercial product, an industrial arm with a gripper end, based on this technology.
It is a thrill to be here at a conference that's devoted to "Inspired by Nature" -- you can imagine. And I'm also thrilled to be in the foreplay section. Did you notice this section is foreplay? Because I get to talk about one of my favorite critters, which is the Western Grebe. You haven't lived until you've seen these guys do their courtship dance.