The Namib Desert in southern Africa is believed to be the world oldest desert and one of the most arid areas of our planet, receiving only 1.4 centimeters of rain yearly. In this harsh conditions the Namib Desert beetle has evolved to be a skilled fog water collector, so skilled that is now a guide and an inspiration source for many new inventions.

The beetles’ construction enables it to survive by collecting water on its bumpy back surface from the early morning fog. This basic design principle has been studied and emulated, creating a variety of products, all with the same main purpose: to bring water to arid areas by drawing moisture from the air.

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The US start up NBD Nano is studying how to mimic the beetle’s functions to the surface of a bottle, creating with this, a self-filling water bottle. This initiative is still in its early stage but the creators believe that their prototype will collect anywhere from half a liter of water to three liters per hour, depending on local environments.

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Another self-filling water collector that mimics the beetle is the Dew Bank Bottle.

Designed by Kitae Pak, the stainless steel, dome-shaped invention resembles the beetle’s body. The bottle should be placed outside in the evening allowing the steel body to cool; the morning dew generated by the warming air will condense on to the cool surface of the bottle and the collected water is channeled down into the chamber where it is stored for drinking purpose.

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Inspired by the beetle’s fog harvesting qualities the designers Arturo Vittori and Andrea Vogler created Warka Water. Warka Water is a 9 m tall bamboo tower that holds a plastic mesh net, during the night hours the tower collects water form the humid air and stores it in a reservoir at the bottom.

According to the designers; the carefully shaped tower produces water for less cost. Its lightweight structure is designed with parametric computing, but can be built with local skills and materials by the village inhabitants.

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