Manufactured Animals

Tree-climbing robot

I wonder what task this little fellow‘s creators had in mind for him. Rescuing cats? Pruning branches? Picking coconuts? Found here.
I’m glad there’s a robot for every surface (not sure window-cleaners think likewise). Scientists are still improving the species though. His Japanese brother’s called woody!

Hypernature

Tree bombs

Disarm – or we will reforest you!

Back in 1997, Moshe Alamaro “designed conical canisters, of a starchy biodegradable material, which each contain a seedling packed in soil and nutrients. The canisters are dropped from a low-flying plane, so that they hit the ground at 200 m.p.h., and imbed themselves in the soil. Then the canisters decompose and the young trees take root. A large aircraft could drop as many as 100,000 saplings in a single flight: Alamaro’s system could plant as many as a million trees in one day.” Whole forests, fired from F-16s.

Or, branching off from an earlier comment on the agri-militaristic possibilities of garden wars, you’d get landscape design by Cruise missile: launched from a ship in the Indian Ocean, soon there are rich deciduous forests in the hills of Afghanistan.

Moshe Alamaro

Hyperreality

Pimp my heart

The machine and the experience of the machine are becoming one. I’ve seen these kind of things in computer games, but now they are becoming real— Feels like plugging in to the Matrix— Can’t wait for someone with a heart rhythm disorder to come up with some fresh breakbeats!

Pimp My Heart is a performance/vehicle intervention that uses an invented HBBB (HeartBeat Bass Booster) system to amplify the heartbeat of a car driver in real time through an interface with a beefed up car audio aftermarket system. The intervention/invention achieves an ultimate unity between car and driver.

More here

Bionics

Wine making = Math

Enologix makes software that predicts how a wine will rate in reviews even before it is made. It claims that wine quality can be measured chemically, and a score assessed, much like a wine critic. In order to achieve the high rating, winemakers invest in processes rooted not in agriculture but in biochemical information. Wine making becomes an information science. Care for a nice norisoprenoid anthocyanin blend?

McKenzie Wark wrote the article “N is for Nature” about this in the Next Nature Pocket. Wired Magazine featured an article about Enologix as well.

Biomimicry

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 is a manmade closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona. Constructed between 1987 and 1989, it was used to test if and how people could live and work in a closed biosphere. It explored the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization (Biosphere 1 is planet Earth).

The experiment showed the difficulty of copying the functions of the natural capital of the Earth biosphere with infrastructural capital constructed by humans. Despite expenditure of over $150 million, this attempt at a new biosphere did not sustain eight humans for a prolonged time. Biosphere 2 is currently exploited as a tourist attraction.

www.bio2.com (see also: Tropical Dome and Kernwasser Wonderland)

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