Biomimetic meshed actuator

Tom Masselter and his co-authors describe the development of a 3D reticuated actuator inspired by the up-righting movement through a cortical fiber network found in the biological models balsa, papaya and the fossil seed fern Lyginopteris oldhamia. In the freely available publication, they provide background information on the movement principle, building instructions and hands-on experiments suitable for teaching.

Masselter T, Speck O, Speck T. 3D Reticulated Actuator Inspired by Plant Up-Righting Movement Through a Cortical Fiber Network. Biomimetics. 2021; 6(2):33. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics6020033


Simon Poppinga and his co-authors have produced simple handcrafted compliant systems based on paper, wood, plastic foil, and/or glue as construction materials in order to abstraction and implementation plant movement principles into biomimetic compliant systems, which are of increasing interest for technical applications. This freely available publication has a high potential for fast, precise, and low-cost abstraction and transfer processes in biomimetic approaches and for the “hands-on understanding” of plant movements in applied university and school courses.

Poppinga S, Schenck P, Speck O, Speck T, Bruchmann B, Masselter T. Self-Actuated Paper and Wood Models: Low-Cost Handcrafted Biomimetic Compliant Systems for Research and Teaching. Biomimetics. 2021; 6(3):42. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics6030042

Biomimetics and Education

Biomimetics is an interdisciplinary science that deals with the analysis and systematic transfer of biological insights into technical applications. Reverse biomimetics, however, also improves our understanding of biological concept generators. What does this mean for the education of kindergarten children, pupils, students, teachers and others interested in biomimetics and bioinspiration?

The authors Olgas Speck and Thomas Speck give answers to these questions in the freely available publication “Biomimetics and Education in Europe: Challenges, Opportunities, and Variety”. In the supplementary material, they present the educational module “The bone-inspired ceiling”, which is based on the biomimetic ribbed ceiling of the Old Zoology Lecture Hall of the University of Freiburg. The module includes worksheets with (1) background information on the bone-inspired ceiling, (2) a photoelastic experiment with a gelatine body to show mechanical stresses, (3) observations, (4) solutions and (5) explanations of the experimental results, and (6) an additional sheet with information about the method of photoelasticity.

Speck O, Speck T. Biomimetics and Education in Europe: Challenges, Opportunities, and Variety. Biomimetics. 2021; 6(3):49.

Die Doktorarbeit von Larissa Born, wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Textil- und Fasertechnologie der Universität Stuttgart, zu adaptiven Faserverbundkunsstoffen wurde mit dem Manfred Hirschvogel Preis ausgezeichnet. >> Pressemitteilung

Junior research group program

International Call: Agnes Pockels Junior Research Group Program @ University of Freiburg (Germany)
Philosophy of Technology, Technology Assessment, Sustainability Research

The call targets female researchers within three to five years of their postdoctoral experience in the areas of philosophy of technology, technology assessment and / or sustainability research. Applications need to be submitted by September 5th 2021 to positions@livmats.uni-freiburg.de.
>> More information

Das neue Buch von Claus Mattheck und Kollegen „Klimafester Baum?: Biomechanische Anpassung der Baumwurzel an den Trockenstress“ ist als e-book erschienen. >>mehr

New publications on education

Two new publications on education in biomimetics have been published open access.

Masselter et al. 2021 present meshed actuators inspired by the erectile movement of recent plants and fossil records. >>article

Poppinga et al. 2021 provide simple handcrafted models based on paper, wood and plastic foil for „hands-on-understanding“ of plant movements. >>article

Internship offer @ Laboratory UMR MAP MAACC CNRS Paris, France

Subject: New research avenues of bio-inspired/biomimeticmaterials for sustainable architecture and construction framework
Internship leaders: Natasha Heil(MAP MAACC CNRS)
Internship duration: Two months, starting from July2021
Internship location: Onlinebase
Remuneration: 500 € per month

Internship objectives:
The internship is part of a new research framework on bio-inspired/biomimetic materials for sustainable architecture and construction at UMR MAP MAACC CNRS laboratory, Paris. In order to propose new research avenues on this framework, we need to review existing case studies, understand ongoing projects and identify problematics and the needs of bioinspired architectural and architected material domains. Bioinspiration in conjunction with new digitally based design and fabrication methods is starting to transform both disciplines, architecture and materials science, towards a fundamentally novel approach. Initially for this framework, we envisage to publish an article and elaborate a project proposal on this subject at the end of this year 2021/ beginning of next year 2022.

Internship contents:
– Supporting screening and collecting of information from supervisors’ guidelines (The internship will be supervised by Petra Gruber and NatashaHeil)
– Researching and reviewing of paper
– Categorizing, writing short summaries and preparing power point presentations
– Collecting references and case studies of bio-inspired material in architecture and construction

Profile of the candidate:
Good knowledge in Bio-inspired/biomimetics, material sciences for architectural design and construction. Excellent in English written language

Application materials:
CV, Portfolio or research achievements, Certificates or transcript

Contact: Natasha Heil: natasha.heil@map.cnrs.fr, natasha.heil@outlook.com

Der ARD-Beitrag „Schnelle Pflanzen“ in W wie Wissen stellt die Forschung der Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg zum Thema Pflanzenbewegungen und Bionik vor. >> zum Beitrag

Thomas Becker vom MDR Thüringen führte ein Interview mit Prof. Thomas Speck (Universität Freiburg)  zum Thema „Lernen vom Efeu heißt klettern lernen“.  >>mehr

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