Right from the time when the man started inventing, he has been curious about the design in nature which is evident with the inventions from armor used by ancient soldiers, which is inspired from the snail’s shell to Nissan’s robot car which is inspired from bee’s. These are said to be biologically inspired technologies, well known as Bio-mimetics. Bio-mimetics or bio-mimicry is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems.

It is also one of the answers for the question, From where do the automotive designers get ideas?. The following are few examples which show some of the technologies and designs inherited from nature in Automotive sector. Nissan in association with the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at University of Tokyo has built the Bio-mimetic Car which has used a technology called safety shield based on the bee’s ability to create its own personal space and avoid collisions with the help of its compound eyes. The engineers working in the safety shield concept have recreated the compound eyes of bees with the help of a Laser Range Finder which detects obstacles within 2 meters and 180 degree radius and sends signal to a microprocessor to avoid collision.

Detection by compound eye


Detection by LASER range finder
Nissan Robot Car

Volkswagen beetle car, which is inspired from bumble bee’s appearance, is one typical example to show that the nature has the solution for engineers who search for different, aerodynamic and futuristic design inspired from bumble bee’s appearance.

VW Beetle

It is used not only in passenger cars but also in off-road purpose vehicles too. Camouflage is a defensive technique used in defense purposes, especially in Military tanks in order to get unidentified. It is found to be predominant in Chameleon and octopus by which it escapes from being a prey and it is done by them by changing their color according to the surroundings. But the paints used in military tank are not active, so the rotating and vibrating parts make it identifiable. However, further researches are going on to make it active.


Camouflage used by military tanks

Elephants were the best construction workers until its successor, off-road excavators overtook it. It seems to be the inspiration for the design of excavators, Dumpers, Loaders, dozers etc.

A excavator at work

It is evident from these examples that any issues and needs can be solved and satisfied by imitating the nature. Further technologies are coming up for which nature is one of the inspirations. It is a nice area for students to do their projects because it doesn’t need any new idea, it is already there in the surroundings. The only task to be done is to know its function.