BiomimicrySA & FLOW powered by The Bionic Learning Network of FESTO, a global leader in automation technology, industrial training and education programs ran a student design challenge in 2014 with a focus on universities in Cape Town,
Festo’s partner has developed a 3D biomimetic material that collects fog in dry regions in the world, converting this into huge amounts of drinking/irrigation water. This alleviates water shortages, making lives around the world far easier.The problem is that the fog collectors need motivated people to maintain and repair them. How can a new approach be designed using this effective material? The goal of this design challenge was to invent a suitable application for this new material using biomimicry principles.
The challenge involved over 80 student entries from a range of Western Cape Universities and 6 exceptional finalists made this a great success!
All 6 finalists gave it their all and thoroughly impressed both the South African and German judges with their prototypes. The final round presentations and prototypes were so impressive that all 6 prototypes are being shipped for further review and possible development at FESTO Germany.
In terms of points from the judges, Team Hydrators came out tops, presenting what judges felt was the most sustainable solution. Their simple yet effective design, based on key Biomimicry principles, improves on existing fog collection.
A big thank you to all the student entries, the volunteer judges, FESTO South Africa and FESTO Germany, Kirstenbosch learning centre and the UCT Department of Life Sciences for making this challenge a reality.
The video below is a mini documentary summarising the full Student Design Challenge process in 2014.