I have stumbled upon several interesting videos on a YouTube channel call SmarterEveryDay every so often in the past, but hadn’t browsed the channel thoroughly until very recently. What got my attention this time is a video that I called “a different kind of swarm”, which documents an interesting and unique behavior of a group of caterpillars. This kind of caterpillar swarm behavior is much different from the swarm examples that we’re typically familiar with, such as a school of fish, a flock of birds or an ant colony. The video below not only documents the bizarre mode of locomotion from the caterpillars, but also provids a potential explanation for the evolution of this strategy and identifies the bio-inspired design principles abstracted from it.
Sounds like a perfect channel for people interested in biomimicry to watch, doesn’t it?! I also like the feel-good name, SmarterEveryDay.
As I dug deeper into this channel, I realized that the creator of it participated in the discovery of a new “decoy” spider species that got a significant amount of publicity about two years ago (watch the video here, or read more about it here).
Last but not least, even though I mentioned my dissertation research in a previous blog post, I guess it’s still hard for most people to visualize what I’m doing at The University of Akron. Worry no more~~ The following two videos showcase about 60% of the experimental techniques that I regularly use for my research. The narrator explains those principles behind the techniques way better than I ever could. If you are interested in my research, make sure that you watch these two videos in their entirety.
Biomimicry really isn’t about your profession by training. It’s about observing nature in every detail with a curious mind and preparing to be awed by your new findings. I think these videos in this channel are pretty good demonstrations for that.