Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have studied the wings of glasswing butterflies in an effort to determine what causes their low-reflective nature. It's believed that the findings of the study could lead to less reflective screens on mobile phones, tablets and other devices.
The humble milkweed may be a weed to most, but a company out of Granby, Quebec, is milking the plant for all it’s worth by developing a product for cleaning up oil slicks on land and water from milkweed fibers. Due to the fibers’ hollow shape – a unique feature in nature – and its naturally hydrophobic tendency, they repel water while absorbing more than four times more oil than the same amount of polypropylene materials currently used for spills.
HTC’s J Butterfly, announced today by a Japanese carrier KDDI, is a brand new regional smartphone that takes some cues from the popular One (M8)
Butterfly wings cannot be very far behind geckos' toes so far as sources of inspiration for biomimicry research goes. Various properties of the wings of lepidopterans have triggered research into banknote forgery prevention
, light reflection
and solar cells
. New research from Ohio State University suggests the delicate membranes may hold clues to dirt-resistance surfaces.
Butterfly wing material is somewhat like spider silk
, in that they’re both animal-produced substances which scientists are very interested in copying. In the case of butterfly wings, it’s their ability to brilliantly reflect light in a variety of iridescent colors that could prove particularly useful to humans. Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are reporting success in replicating the reflective properties of the insects’ wings, using tiny glass beads.
“Robobutterfly” may not have quite the same coolness factor as words like Robocop, Robowrestler
, or even Robogecko
. The fact is, however, you can now buy your own flying mechanical butterfly, and it looks pretty impressive. Marketed in Japan as the ChouChou Electric Butterfly, the fluttering electric bug-in-a-mason-jar was unveiled at this year’s Tokyo Toy Show and this month it became available to the public.
Counterfeiting is a crime as old as money itself. It causes a reduction in the value of real money and can add to company losses, as they are not reimbursed for counterfeits. In 1996 Australia became the first country to have a full series of circulating polymer banknotes, which are difficult to counterfeit because they cannot be successfully reproduced by photocopying or scanning. Now scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colors found on the wings of tropical butterflies, that could help make banknotes and credit cards even harder to forge.
Last year, we brought you the story of tech company AeroVironment’s life-size artificial hummingbird
, that flies solely by flapping its wings. Now, a group of Japanese researchers has successfully built and flown a flapping-wing-powered swallowtail butterfly
. Besides looking incredibly cool, the life-size “ornithopter” has also proven a principle that could have big implications in the field of aerodynamics.
Researchers have developed a technique to replicate biological structures, such as butterfly wings, on a nano scale. They focused on the tiny nano-sized photonic structures that are found in the insects’ cuticle, and which give insects their iridescence - that slightly metallic sheen that also seems to shift in color depending on the viewing angle. By replicating the biotemplate of butterfly wings, the researchers hope to be able to make various optically-active structures, such as optical diffusers or coverings that maximize solar cell absorption.