Biomimetics is a term used to describe the concept of taking ideas from nature and implementing them in other technologies such as engineering, design and computing.
"Active Deployable Camouflage" is a project inspired by the ability of Cuttlefish to camouflage themselves against different colored backgrounds. Researchers at The Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies – with the suport of the Ministry of Defence – have developed a gel-based system that mimics their behaviour and can be applied to covers used for camouflaging large military vehicles.
"Military camouflage was born during World War I when the French army created a unit called the Camouflage Division. They employed artists to create outfits and equipment covered with irregular patches – mainly greens and browns – that roughly blended in with the division’s anticipated surroundings. This system is still in use by armies all over the world, although it does have an obvious limitation – the patches are fixed and blend in well with some backgrounds but not others."
Source: EPSRC (The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
Illustration: Andy Warhol.