0
Research Papers: Design Theory and Methodology

Toward a Methodology for Systematically Generating Energy- and Materials-Efficient Concepts Using Biological Analogies

[+] Author and Article Information
Julia M. O'Rourke, Carolyn C. Seepersad

Mechanical Engineering Department,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received February 25, 2015; final manuscript received May 29, 2015; published online July 14, 2015. Editor: Shapour Azarm.

J. Mech. Des 137(9), 091101 (Sep 01, 2015) (12 pages) Paper No: MD-15-1168; doi: 10.1115/1.4030877 History: Received February 25, 2015; Revised May 29, 2015; Online July 14, 2015

Energy- and materials-efficient designs are highly valued in the context of sustainable product design, but realizing products with significant changes in efficiency is a difficult task. One means to address this challenge is to use biological analogies during ideation. The use of biological analogies in the design process has been shown to greatly increase the novelty of concepts generated, and many authors in the bioinspired design (BID) community contend that efficiency-related benefits may be conferred as well. However, there is disagreement in the field as to when, how, and why efficiency-related benefits might arise in BIDs. This work explores these issues in-depth. A review of BID literature and an empirical study of BIDs lead to a better understanding of the types of efficiency advantages conferred by BID and set the stage for the development of tools and methods to systematically generate more energy- and materials-efficient design concepts using biological analogies.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Jones, D. L., 1998, Architecture and the Environment: Bioclimatic Building Design, The Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY.
Baird, G., 2001, The Architectural Expression of Environmental Controls, Spon Press, New York. [CrossRef]
Thomas, D., 2002, Architecture and the Urban Environment: A Vision for the New Age, Architectural Press, Woburn, MA.
Chown, M., 2003, “Building Simulation as an Aide to Design,” Eighth International IBPSA Conference, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Turner, J. S., and Soar, R. C., 2008, “Beyond Biomimicry: What Termites Can Tell us About Realizing the Living Building,” First International Conference on Industrialized, Intelligent Construction (I3CON), Loughborough University.
Wadia, A. P., and McAdams, D. A., 2010, “Developing Biomimetic Guidelines for the Highly Optimized and Robust Design of Complex Products or Their Counterparts,” ASME Paper No. DETC2010-28708. [CrossRef]
Bar-Cohen, Y., 2006, “Introduction to Biomimetics: The Wealth of Inventions in Nature as an Inspiration for Human Innovation,” Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies, Y.Bar-Cohen, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 1–40. [CrossRef]
Hobaek, T. C., Leinan, K. G., Linaas, H. P., and Thaulow, C., 2011, “Surface Nanoengineering Inspired by Evolution,” BioNanoSci., 1(3), pp. 63–77. [CrossRef]
Moore, A. L., Gust, D., and Moore, T. A., 2007, “Bio-Inspired Constructs for Sustainable Energy Production and Use,” Actual. Chim., 308–309, pp. 50–56.
Hambourger, M., Moore, G. F., Kramer, D. M., Gust, D., Moore, A. L., and Moore, T. A., 2009, “Biology and Technology for Photochemical Fuel Production,” Chem. Soc. Rev., 38(1), pp. 25–35. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Vincent, J. F. V., 2008, “Biomimetic Materials,” J. Mater. Res., 23(12), pp. 3140–3147. [CrossRef]
Bruck, H. A., Gershon, A. L., Golden, I., Gupta, S. K., Gyger, L. S., Jr., Magrab, E. B., and Spranklin, B. W., 2007, “Training Mechanical Engineering Students to Utilize Biological Inspiration During Product Development,” Bioinspiration Biomimetics, 2(4), pp. S198–S209. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Rey, A. D., Pasini, D., and Murugesan, Y. K., 2012, “Multiscale Modeling of Plant Cell Wall Architecture and Tissue Mechanics for Biomimetic Applications,” Biomimetics: Nature-Based Innovation, Y. Bar-Cohen, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 131–168.
2014, “Efficient,” Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press, Access date: October 4, 2014, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/efficient
2014, “Mechanical Efficiency,” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, Access date: October 4, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_efficiency
Allwood, J. M., Ashby, M. F., Gutowski, T. G., and Worrell, E., 2013, “Material Efficiency: Providing Material Services With Less Material Production,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. A, 371(1986), p. 20120496. [CrossRef]
Sonntag, R. E., Borgnakke, C., and Van Wylen, G. J., 2003, Fundamentals of Thermodynamics, Wiley, Singapore.
Blankenship, R. E., Tiede, D. M., Barber, J., Brudvig, G. W., Fleming, G., Ghirardi, M., Gunner, M. R., Junge, W., Kramer, D. M., Melis, A., Moore, T. A., Moser, C. C., Nocera, D. G., Nozik, A. J., Ort, D. R., Parson, W. W., Prince, R. C., and Sayre, R. T., 2011, “Comparing Photosynthetic and Photovoltaic Efficiencies and Recognizing the Potential for Improvement,” Science, 332(6031), pp. 805–809. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hambley, A. R., 2002, Electrical Engineering: Principles and Applications, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
2014, “Biological Efficiency,” Merriam-Webster Dictionary, m-w.com, Access date: October 4, 2014, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biological%20efficiency
2014, “Efficient,” American Heritage Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Access date: October 4, 2014, https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=efficient&submit.x=58&submit.y=20
Raibeck, L., Reap, J., and Bras, B., 2008, “Life Cycle Inventory Study of Biologically Inspired Self-Cleaning Surfaces,” ASME Paper No. DETC2008-49848. [CrossRef]
Reap, J., Baumeister, D., and Bras, B., 2005, “Holism, Biomimicry and Sustainable Engineering,” ASME Paper No. IMECE2005-81343. [CrossRef]
Velcro, 2011, “Who is Velcro USA Inc.?,” Access date: March 18, 2012, http://www.velcro.com/index.php?page=company
Muller, R., and Kuc, R., 2007, “Biosonar-Inspired Technology: Goals, Challenges and Insights,” Bioinspiration Biomimetics, 2(4), pp. S146–S161. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lipson, H., 2006, “Evolutionary Robotics and Open-Ended Design Automation,” Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies, Y.Bar-Cohen, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 129–153. [CrossRef]
Harris, C. M., 2009, “Biomimetics of Human Movement: Functional or Aesthetic?,” Bioinspiration Biomimetics, 4(3), p. 033001. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Argunsah, H., and Davis, B. L., 2012, “Application of Biomimetics in the Design of Medical Devices,” Biomimetics: Nature-Based Innovation, Y.Bar-Cohen, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 445–459.
Trexler, M., and Deacon, R. M., 2012, “Artificial Senses and Organs: Natural Mechanisms and Biomimetic Devices,” Biomimetics: Nature-Based Innovation, Y. Bar-Cohen, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 35–93.
Tero, A., Takagi, S., Saigusa, T., Ito, K., Bebber, D. P., Fricker, M. D., Yumiki, K., Kobayashi, R., and Nakagaki, T., 2010, “Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design,” Science, 327(5964), pp. 439–442. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Vincent, J. F. V., Bogatyreva, O. A., Bogatyrev, N. R., Bowyer, A., and Pahl, A.-K., 2006, “Biomimetics: Its Practice and Theory,” J. R. Soc. Interface, 3(9), pp. 471–482. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Starr, C., Evers, C. A., and Starr, L., 2006, Basic Concepts in Biology, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA.
Tester, J. W., Drake, E. M., Driscoll, M. J., Golay, M. W., and Peters, W. A., 2005, Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
Smil, V., 1999, Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
Weber, P. W., Murray, M. M., Howle, L. E., and Fish, F. E., 2009, “Comparison of Real and Idealized Cetacean Flippers,” Bioinspiration Biomimetics, 4(4), p. 046001. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Campbell, N. A., and Reece, J. B., 2005, Biology, Pearson Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA.
Barton, N., and Partridge, L., 2000, “Limits to Natural Selection,” BioEssays, 22, pp. 1075–1084. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Charlesworth, B., and Charlesworth, D., 2009, “Evolution of the Genome,” Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, M. Ruse and J. Travis, eds., The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 152–176.
Gunderson, S. L., and Schiavone, R. C., 1995, “Microstructure of an Insect Cuticle and Applications to Advanced Composites,” Biomimetics: Design and Processing of Materials, M. Sarikaya and I. A. Aksay, eds., AIP Press, Woodbury, NY, pp. 163–197.
Ball, P., 2001, “Life's Lessons in Design,” Nature, 409(6818), pp. 413–416. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Travis, J., and Reznick, D. N., 2009, “Adaptation,” Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, M.Ruse and J.Travis, eds., The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 105–131.
Grammer, K., Fink, B., Moller, A. P., and Thornhill, R., 2003, “Darwinian Aesthetics: Sexual Selection and the Biology of Beauty,” Biol. Rev. Cambridge Philos. Soc., 78(3), pp. 385–407. [CrossRef]
Houde, A. E., 1987, “Mate Choice Based Upon Naturally Occurring Color-Pattern Variation in a Guppy Population,” Evolution, 41(1), pp. 1–10. [CrossRef]
Walther, B. A., 2003, “Do Peacocks Devote Maintenance Time to Their Ornamental Plumage? Time Budgets of Male Blue Peafowl Pavo cristatus,” Lundiana, 4(2), pp. 149–154.
Sengupta, B., Stemmler, M., Laughlin, S. B., and Niven, J. E., 2010, “Action Potential Energy Efficiency Varies Among Neuron Types in Vertebrates and Invertebrates,” PLoS Comput. Biol., 6(7), p. e1000840. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ruxton, G. D., and Wilkinson, D. M., 2011, “The Energetics of Low Browsing in Sauropods,” Biol. Lett., 7(5), pp. 779–781. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Niven, J. E., and Laughlin, S. B., 2008, “Energy Limitation as a Selective Pressure on the Evolution of Sensory Systems,” J. Exp. Biol., 211(Pt. 11), pp. 1792–1804. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Cavalier-Smith, T., 2007, “The Chimaeric Origin of Mitochondria: Photosynthetic Cell Enslavement, Gene-Transfer Pressure, and Compartmentation Efficiency,” Origin of Mitochondria and Hydrogenosomes, W. F. Martin and M. Muller, eds., Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 161–199. [CrossRef]
Barber, J., 2009, “Photosynthetic Energy Conversion: Natural and Artificial,” Chem. Soc. Rev., 38(1), pp. 185–196. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Boratynski, Z., Koskela, E., Mappes, T., and Oksanen, T. A., 2010, “Sex-Specific Selection on Energy Metabolism—Selection Coefficients for Winter Survival,” J. Evol. Biol., 23(9), pp. 1969–1978. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Telenko, C., 2009, “Developing Green Design Guidelines: A Formal Method and Case Study,” M.S. thesis, Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.
Ulrich, K., and Eppinger, S., 2012, Product Design and Development, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Thomer, K. W., 2007, “Materials and Concepts in Body Construction,” Automotive Paintings and Coatings, H.-J. Streitberger and K.-F. Dossel, eds., Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany, pp. 23–25. [CrossRef]
Vincent, J., 2010, “New Materials and Natural Design,” Bulletproof Feathers: How Science Uses Nature's Secrets to Design Cutting-Edge Technology, R. Allen, ed., The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, pp. 132–171.
Cameron, D. O., 2005, “Biolytic Filtration,” U.S. Patent No. 6,890,439 B2, USPTO, Dowmus Pty Ltd.
Cameron, D. O., 1997, “Method for Treating Wastewater and Solid Organic Waste,” U.S. Patent No. 5,633,163, USPTO, Dowmus Pty Ltd.
Cameron, D. O., 1999, “Self-Cleansing Filter,” U.S. Patent No. 5,976,374, USPTO, Dowmus Pty Ltd.
Cameron, D. O., 1999, “Effluent Treatment System,” U.S. Patent No. 5,919,366, USPTO, Downus Pty Ltd.
Daimler, 2005, “The Mercedes-Benz Bionic Car: Streamlined and Light, Like a Fish in Water-Economical and Environmentally Friendly Thanks to the Latest Diesel Technology,” Press Kit: The Mecedes-Benz Bionic Car as a Concept Vehicle , Access date: November 3, 2011, http://media.daimler.com/dcmedia/0-921-885913-1-815003-1-0-0-815031-0-1-11702-854934-0-1-0-0-0-0-0.html?TS=1320351831755
Bartol, I. K., Gharib, M., Webb, P. W., Weihs, D., and Gordon, M. S., 2005, “Body-Induced Vortical Flows: A Common Mechanism for Self-Corrective Trimming Control in Boxfishes,” J. Exp. Biol., 208(Pt. 2), pp. 327–344. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Choi, J.-G., and Kim, M., 2009, “The Usage and Evaluation of Anthropomorphic Form in Robot Design,” Undisciplined!: Design Research Society Conference, Sheffield, UK.
Yen, J., 2010, “Marine Dynamics,” Bulletproof Feathers: How Science Uses Nature's Secrets to Design Cutting-Edge Technology, R. Allen, ed., The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, pp. 22–43.
2005, “At a Glance: More Special Technical and Stylistic Features of the Concept Car,” Diamler, Access date: February 17, 2012, http://media.daimler.com/dcmedia/0-921-885913-1-815020-1-0-0-0-0-1-11702-854934-0-1-0-0-0-0-0.html?TS=1329513791918
Weinkamer, R., and Fratzl, P., 2011, “Mechanical Adaptation of Biological Materials—The Examples of Bone and Wood,” Mater. Sci. Eng. C, 31(6), pp. 1164–1173. [CrossRef]
Daniel, S. D., and Oakey, D. D., 2009, “Random Installation Carpet Tiles,” U.S. Patent No. 7,601,413 B2, USPTO, Interface, Inc.
Nelson, E., 2009, “How Interface Innovates With Suppliers to Create Sustainablity Solutions,” Global Bus. Organiz. Excellence, 28(6), pp. 22–30. [CrossRef]
Nakajima, A., Hashimoto, K., Watanabe, T., Takai, K., Yamauchi, G., and Fujishima, A., 2000, “Transparent Superhydrophobic Thin Films With Self-Cleaning Properties,” Langmuir, 16(17), pp. 7044–7047. [CrossRef]
Raibeck, L., Reap, J., and Bras, B., 2008, “Investigating Environmental Benefits of Biologically Inspired Self-Cleaning Surfaces,” 15th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, Sydney, Australia.
Chung, K. K., Schumacher, J. F., Sampson, E. M., Burne, R. A., Antonelli, P. J., and Brennan, A. B., 2007, “Impact of Engineered Surface Microtopography on Biofilm Formation of Staphylococcus aureus,” Biointerphases, 2(2), pp. 89–94. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Brennan, A. B., Baney, R. H., Turnage, M. C., Estes, T. G., Feinberg, A. W., Wilson, L. H., and Schumacher, J. F., 2010, “Surface Topographies for Non-Toxic Bioadhesion Control,” U.S. Patent No. 2010/1026404 A1, USPTO, University of Florida Research Foundation.
Brennan, A. B., Long, C. J., Bagan, J. W., Schumacher, J. F., and Spiecker, M. M., 2010, “Surface Topographies for Non-Toxic Bioadhesion Control,” U.S. Patent No. 2010/0226943 A1.
Dean, B., and Bhushan, B., 2010, “Shark-Skin Surfaces for Fluid-Drag Reduction in Turbulent Flow: A Review,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. A, 368(1929), pp. 4775–4806. [CrossRef]
Mashimo, S., Nakatsu, E., Aoki, T., and Matsuo, K., 1997, “Attenuation and Distortion of a Compression Wave Propagating in a High-Speed Railway Tunnel,” JSME Int. J., Ser. B, 40(1), pp. 51–57. [CrossRef]
Miyauchi, T., Nagatomo, T., Tsujimura, T., and Tsuchiya, H., 1999, “Fundamental Investigations of LCA of Shinkansen Vehicles,” Q. Rep. Railway Tech. Res. Inst. (RTRI), 40(4), pp. 204–209. [CrossRef]
Soejima, H., 2003, “Railway Technology in Japan—Challenges and Strategies,” Japan Railway Transport Rev., 36, pp. 4–13.
Tanaka, Y., Takahashi, R., and Tamada, T., 2003, “Noise Control of Sanyo Shinkansen,” 32nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, Seogwipo, South Korea.
Kobayashi, K., 2005, “JFS Bio-Mimicry Interview Series: No. 6 Technologies Learned From Living Things: "Shinkansen Technology Learned From an Owl?"—The Story of Eiji Nakatsu,” Japan for Sustainability Newsletter, No. 031, http://www.japanfs.org/en_/newsletter/200503-2.html
Horihata, K., Sakamoto, H., Kitabayashi, H., and Ishikawa, A., 2008, “Environmentally Friendly Railway-Car Technology,” Hitachi Rev., 57(1), pp. 18–22.
Matsumoto, M., Masai, K., and Wajima, T., 1999, “New Technologies for Railway Trains,” Hitachi Rev., 48(3), pp. 134–138.
Bachmann, T., and Wagner, H., 2011, “The Three-Dimensional Shape of Serrations at Barn Owl Wings: Towards a Typical Natural Serration as a Role Model for Biomimetic Applications,” J. Anat., 219(2), pp. 192–202. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Koganezawa, S., Ohtsuka, S., and Funabashi, K., 2011, “Linear Protrusion Structure on Carriage-Arm Surface for Reduction of Flow-Induced Carriage Vibration in Hard Disk Drives,” Microsyst. Technol., 17(5–7), pp. 799–804. [CrossRef]
Biolytix, “How It Works: Biolytix Copies Nature,” Access date: March 6, 2012, http://www.biolytix.com/copies-nature/
Biolytix Water, 2011, “Why Biolytix?,” Access date: February 12, 2011, http://www.biolytix.co.nz/commercial/why_biolytix_25_key_benefits/
Biolytix Southern Africa, 2008, “How Biolytix Works,” Access date: January 16, 2012, http://www.biolytix.co.za/?page_id=4
BMW, “BMW 3 Series Sedan: All the Facts,” Access date: November 3, 2011, http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/3series/sedan/2008/allfacts/engine/technical_data.html

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Spectrum depicting the varying extent to which authors affirm the efficiency-related archetypal claims found in BID literature study. References cited in the figure are Refs. [10-13].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The shape of the bionic concept car is an optimized geometry inspired by the boxfish. Image credit: Ref. [61].

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In