Scientist Deckard Sorensen has created a self-filling water bottle that draws moisture from the air. Sorensen has taken inspiration for the design from the natural world. The Namib Desert Beetle is from where the idea has derived. It lives in an area that only receives half an inch of rainfall a year. It is observed that every morning the beetle climbs to the top of the sand dunes, turns it back to the wind and drinks twelve percent of its weight in water using the hydrophilic areas on the surface of its shell. The water then eventually flows to a storage area on the beetle.

Sorensen has used nanotechnology to mirror this process. A surface is coated in super hydrophilic and super hydrophobic regions. A fan is then used to pass air over the surface. The water then condenses on the surface. This process requires the energy of the fan however all tests have been powered by solar cells and a rechargeable battery. It is the scientists aim to:

“We see this being applicable to anything from marathon runners to people in third-world countries, because we realize that water is such a large issue in the world today, and we want to try to alleviate those problems with a cost-efficient solution.” 

He is also investigating how the technology can be used to assist plants.

“We are looking to incorporate this in greenhouses or green roofs in the immediate future, and then later on, we’re looking to see how far we can really scale this up to supply maybe farms or larger agricultural goals,” Sorenson told PRI. 

The self-filling water bottle should reach the market by 2014.