By David Pescovitz
Posted 04.22.2004 at 12:29 pm 0 Comments
In the 1940s, Swiss engineer George de Mestral found burrs stuck to his pants legs and examined their hooks under a microscope. Ten years later, he patented Velcro. De Mestral's biology-inspired invention is a quintessential example of biomimetics?applying design principles from nature to engineering. In recent years biomimetics has led to numerous innovations, from "self-cleaning" paint based on lotus leaves to new adhesives inspired by the gripping hairs on a gecko's feet.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.