14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry

By Amelia Hennighausen and Eric Roston - 2013-08-19T12:01:13Z

Photograph by Secret Sea Visions/Peter Arnold; Rendering by Mercedes-Benz/Daimler AG

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Experimental Fish Car

"Reinventing the wheel" is imprecise, even as a metaphor, in the biomimetic context. That’s because nature doesn’t really do wheels; there’s nothing for engineers to reinvent. The rough-and-humble tumbleweed is one of the few works of evolution that roll to get where they’re going.

Mercedes-Benz instead found inspiration for a car body (less its wheels) in the boxfish, a tropical species shaped sort of like, well, a two-door compact. The fish’s body turned out to be aerodynamically superb, and the resulting concept car has one of the most efficient shapes for a car of its size. 

A Dumb Question about biomimicry.

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