Natural Role Models
Festo Didactic took the mechanisms of action of water lilies and mimosa as a model for the development of the Bionic Flower. These plants have one thing in common: the opening and closing of their leaves due to external stimuli. The effects serve for reproduction and protection against natural enemies.
Natural Role Model – Water Lilies
The water lily is an aquatic plant that is anchored in bodies of water. The single standing flowers have a spiraled-like structure triggered by light and thus allow the opening and closing of their petals. Day-flowering water lilies open their petals in the morning and thus attract insects to pollinate the flowers. But how exactly does the movement of the petals work?
The principle is based on differences in growth between the outside and inside of the petals. So the inside of the petals grows under bright light and the flower opens. If there is not enough light, the outer side grows and the flower closes.
Natural Role Model – Mimosa Plant
The leaves of the mimosa plant fold one after the other when subjected to mechanical stimuli such as touch or vibration nearby, and the stem sinks. This serves to protect against possible predators.
The successive folding of the pinnules takes place like a chain reaction (domino effect). An ingenious mechanism within the water-filled cell structures in the pinnules ensures that water is released from the cell when an external stimulus is applied. This means that no more water presses from the inside against the cell walls, the cell relaxes and the pinnules contract.