Namib Beetle

March 31, 2011

In the Namib Desert there is a beetle that utilizes a similar method to the D.R.I.P.S. in order to stay hydrated. The beetle lives in an area that receives only a half inch of rain per year, but it can collect the moisture out of the wind that blows across the land. The insect uses tiny bumps and grooves on its wing scales to collect water in droplets thinner than a human hair and channel them directly into its mouth before they can evaporate. Similarly, the D.R.I.P.S. would collect condensing water water and funnel it directly to the roots of a plant before it can be lost.

Research is done by MIT’s Robert Cohen and Michael Rubner.

Research credit to QinetiQ

Dr. Cphen and Dr. Rubner developed a new material based on their work with the Namib Beetle:

“Their newly designed material combines a superhydrophilic (water-attracting) surface with superhydrophobic (water-repelling) surface. A Teflon-like substance is applied to a surface (for water-repulsion); silica nanoparticles and charged polymers help create a rough texture to attract droplets. The research was funded by our good friends at DARPA.”

Tags: ,

3 Responses to Namib Beetle

  1. Olga on May 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Here’s a link to a transcript of a radio show “Desert Beetle Inspires Water Collection”:

  2. Atmospheric Moisture | DRIPS Project on June 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    […] Namib Desert Beetle uses wind chill to cool its carapace and extract moisture from the air in a desert environment. It […]

  3. […] beetle inspires Dyson Award winner ( [caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption] A simple an… alt="Namib desert beetle (possibly of genus Onymacr…" width="300" height="222" […]

Leave a Reply