Inspired By The Fogstand Beetle, Bionic Collects And Stores Water

Bionic Water Collection DeviceBionic Water Collection Device

Living in a developed nation, we sometimes don't realize that water is a scarce necessity for some in less developed countries. The presence of water can also mean survival for thrill seeking adventurers. Inspired by the Fogstand Beetle, Bionic Water Storage Unit is a conceptual design that would harvest and store water.

Harvesting water sounds funny, I know. We typically think of harvesting plants, but the Fogstand Beetle, which inhabits the Namib Desert, one of the harshest environments on the planet, has a unique way of harvesting water. In his conceptual design, Olcay Tuncay Karabulut, proposes to mimic this method in the form of a water storage unit that can be strapped to a backpack.

Fogstand BeetleFogstand Beetle

The Fogstand Beetle, the inspiration behind Bionic, actually harvests water particles in fog, in the early, Namib Desert mornings. It climbs a sand ridge and faces the morning winds. These winds carry foggy air--moist air--toward the little insect. The beetle's anatomy does the rest. Its back is composed of a hydrophobic surface interspersed by hydrophilic bumps. 

Fogstand Beetle Collecting WaterFogstand Beetle Collecting Water

Fog condenses on the Fogstand Beetle's wings and that moisture forms small droplets that are attracted to the hydrophilic bumps. When enough droplets are collected and become heavy enough to detach from the bump, they slide down the hydrophobic surface of the beetle's back and into its mouth.

Bionic ComponentsBionic Components

The Bionic Water Storage device would have a similar composition--hydrophilic bumps and hydrophobic sides. You would have to point the unit in the direction of fog laden wind, just like the Fogstand Beetle, in order for droplets to materialize on the hydrophilic bumps and subsequently fall into the Bionics water reservoir. 

It is unclear how much water Bionic would be able to capture, if any. The Fogstand Beetle is able to collect more than enough water to sustain itself, however the Bionic concept hasn't made it to the prototype stage yet and so hasn't been tested. Also, it is typically expensive and inefficient to create surfaces like the one Bionic would utilize--hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces just don't attach so easily. 

Take Bionic AnywhereTake Bionic Anywhere

Though this concept has the potential to turn out to be inefficient, it also has the potential to be a new means of water collection. If it's a feasible concept (the designer doesn't give enough information on the design to really make a hard determination), then it could mean water for those who don't have great access to it and a new accessory for hikers, campers and adventurers. Perhaps we will see it or something like it come along in the near future. 

Sources: Tuvie, Behance, MIT Tech Review, Wikipedia