We have harped about both squid-inspired LCD displays and shellfish-derived super-strong adhesives. Well, this time around, designer Teresa van Dongen has taken advantage of the wondrous scope of bio-luminescence to craft the Ambio, a ‘bacterial lamp’. Showcasing its svelte structure complemented by a soft glow, the design goes on to demonstrate how low impact energy mechanisms can be devised without intruding or modifying the gizmo’s intrinsic form or system.
To that end, the Ambio flaunts its suspended transparent glass tube that is kept taut and balanced by two weights. The ‘magic’ is inside this tube, as it comprises of half-filled seawater substrate that is speckled with a special type of bacteria derived from octopuses. Also known as photobacterium, the organisms have the ability to glow when coming in direct contact with oxygen. That is why the tube is kept half-filled, so as to facilitate the Artificial Seawater Medium’s contact with air inside the glass.
According to Dongen –
Ambio balances two weights and a glass tube half-filled with an ‘Artificial Seawater Medium’ containing a carefully selected type of these unique luminescent species. Give the lamp a gentle push every so often and the weights will keep it moving and thus glowing. Ambio is a visualization of a research on how to use nature as a source of energy.
However, the lamp design is not entirely practical in its current stage, given the limited lifetime of the living bacteria that is used inside the medium. Scientists are now looking forth to increase this lifetime, which could potentially make the Ambio useful for low impact lighting with enhanced durability.
Check the Ambio in action –