How can Geckos improve space travel?

Abigaille wall-crawler robot

Since 2007, students at Simon Fraser University have been working on putting wall-climbing robots in space. The problem? You can’t use suction in a vacuum, and conventional adhesives or magnets won’t work.

To overcome those challenges, the team designed an eight-legged arachnid structure that can crawl over, on or around any obstacle it encounters.

In much the same way that geckos climb up panes of glass or across a ceiling, the robot’s feet are composed of hairs that are so tiny, they adhere to surfaces at the atomic level. Thanks to the wonders of nature, putting wall-climbing robots in space is now a mission accomplished.

Photo copyright Simon Fraser University School of Engineering Science/MENRVA

Change Your World

Biomimicry is a rapidly expanding field that’s transforming the way we think, design, package, produce and distribute goods and services. It changes everything.

  • ECONOMIC IMPACT: Biomimicry is projected to account for $425 billion of GDP and account for over 1.6 million jobs in the U.S. by 2030.

  • INSPIRING INNOVATION: Companies are applying biomimicry to increase energy and resource productivity, eliminate the concept of waste and enhance business resilience.

  • TALENT: Attract and retain the best and most creative people by offering them the platform for world-changing work.

  • TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE: Focus on people, profits and planet to coexist more symbiotically with the environment and local communities.

Biomimicry offers real, time-tested solutions. Because nature has had many attempts at these solutions, they require the lowest amount of energy, provide the most efficient investment and are most sustainable. You don’t want to invest in solutions that have to be abandoned in the future.

Peter Buca, Vice President of Technology and Innovation, Parker Hannifin

GOJO Deep Dive

GOJO goes to the ends of the earth for sustainability.

Find out how biomimicry is making a difference for one corporation, leading to a next-generation solution for its product line-up.

View Case Study

PRODUCT INNOVATION SERVICES

We help organizations bring biomimicry to their design process. Whether a company has a full-blown R&D department or is a small start-up with a good idea, Great Lakes Biomimicry, in collaboration with The University of Akron’s Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, will lead or assist your design challenge.

Let us take you to the solution space that’s created when looking through a biomimetic lens. The application can be for a product, process or systems-wide approach. For more information, contact Trisha Brown at [email protected].

Professional Education Workshops

We will help you accelerate the adoption, integration and application of biomimicry into your organization.

Learn More

Corporate Fellows

Corporate Fellows are students from around the world who are enrolled in The University of Akron’s Integrated Biosciences Ph.D. program with training in biomimicry. The students are embedded into businesses, doing R&D, evaluating operations and teaching companies how to look at processes through a biomimetic lens, spurring innovation and solving problems.

Talk to us now about sponsoring a Fellow in your business by contacting [email protected].  

Learn more about our educational initiatives.

CORPORATE INNOVATION COUNCIL

Biomimicry bonds – especially in Northeast Ohio. Companies that sponsor biomimicry Ph.D. Fellows meet quarterly to discuss their unique experiences. Collaborations are forged so companies can work together to solve problems. This is the way nature works, and to our knowledge, no other location in the world has achieved this significant level of corporate collaboration.

Contact us to help build the momentum.

Great Lakes Biomimicry Technology Center

Northeast Ohio is a hot spot for biomimicry and technology innovation. Plans are underway to create the Biomimicry Open Innovation Commercialization Hub in the Desich SMART Center at Lorain County Community College (LCCC).

The first of its kind to integrate the disciplines of biomimicry and business development, the center will serve as the hub for regional biomimetic tech transfer. We will enlist researchers in an open innovation model and move research projects through the commercialization process to develop successful products.

This collaboration will serve as an international model for embedding biomimicry into regional economic development and for developing human talent in the rapidly expanding field of biomimicry.

Clean Water Solutions

Clean water is necessary for life. Northeast Ohio has an abundance of fresh water but is plagued with problems like algal blooms and pollution. Through a partnership with the Cleveland Water Alliance, Avon Lake Regional Water and NASA, Ph.D. Fellows will work on water quality issues by asking: How does nature clean water?

Business Incubation

To help drive economic growth and spur innovation in NEO, a biomimicry incubator at LCCC will be open to all entrepreneurs developing innovations inspired by nature. The incubator will offer space, business coaching and mentoring to all eligible entrepreneurs in the Northeast Ohio region.

SMART Center