Bug Muscle

Biomimicry Presents a Solution for Drought




With global temperatures continuing to rise and droughts expected to become more severe, Australian Edward Linacre has designed a beetleinspired device called Airdrop that is capable of extracting water from even the driest desert air. His invention recently won the prestigious global James Dyson award. “Biomimicry is a powerful weapon in an engineer’s armory,” comments Dyson.

Linacre, a graduate of Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne, wanted to solve the drought problem afflicting parts of his country. The lack of rain has brought dry, damaged soil, dead crops and mounting debt for farmers.

Rather than using complex, energy-intensive methods such as desalination or tapping into underground water sources, Airdrop’s source of water, the air, can be used anywhere in the world. The device delivers water to the roots of crops in dry areas by pushing air through a network of underground pipes and cooling it to the degree at which moisture condenses; then the water is pumped to the roots. Linacre was inspired by the Namib beetle, which survives in areas that receive just half an inch of rain per year by consuming the dew it collects on the hydrophilic skin of its back.


Find more info at Tinyurl.com/6ts34y5.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Tree Tally

By digitalizing photographs and other museum records, scientists are closing in on the number of tree species left to be discovered in the Amazon rainforest.

Tiny Baubles

As many as 51 trillion particles of discarded plastic lie on the ocean floor, threatening marine life globally.

Landfill Eulogy

Sweden’s waste-to-energy plants are so efficient that it has closed many landfills and actually imports trash to burn from other European countries.

Humpback Holler

Humpback whales that leap out of the water are making a big splash to communicate with distant pods, Australian researchers have found.

Window Pain

As many as one billion migrating birds die annually when they collide with glass windows in the United States.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags