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Homework+1+Solutions - BME 221 Homework #1 (38 pts) Due:...

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BME 221 Homework #1 (38 pts) Due: Beginning of Class, Monday, September 21, 2009 1. What is the basic idea of biomimetics? Describe 3 examples found in nature (at least one of which was not discussed in lecture) and how they can or have been used by humans. (4pts) Biomimetics is the application of designs and phenomena found in nature to human engineering and technological pursuits. Some examples: a) Smart fabric that opens when it is warm and closes when cold, like pinecones. b) Velcro, based on the hooks of plant burrs. c) The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and NASA are studying the navigational systems and locomotive strategies of insects to design the next generation of autonomous robots and vehicles. d) Using a wind tunnel, researchers have found that the flipper of the humpback whale is a more efficient wing design than the current model used by the aeronautics industry on airplanes. Engineers are working to apply the aerodynamic findings to future airplane and automotive design. Similarly, engineers at Airbus, a European airplane-manfacturing firm, have used the rough skin of the shark as inspiration in developing a striated foil coating for the wings of aircraft, a design which has resulted in six percent less friction and improved fuel efficiency. e) A research team at Bell Labs has found that a tropical deep-sea sponge, Euplectella or Venus's Flower Basket, builds remarkably strong structures from extremely fragile materials, according to a press release from Lucent Technologies. This discovery led to unique insights in the production of commercial fiber optic strands. The same team also looked to the visual systems of brittlestars -- sea creatures related to starfish and sea urchins -- for inspiration to improve lens design. f) " Gecko tape " is a product under development that has been inspired by the lizard's ability to climb up walls and walk along ceilings. The tape exploits van der Waals forces--- weak intermolecular attractive forces -- by mimicking the tiny hair-like structures, called setae, that cover geckos' feet. g)
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Homework+1+Solutions - BME 221 Homework #1 (38 pts) Due:...

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