There are amazing products, systems, and technologies that have been invented as a result of studying nature. We learn a tremendous amount from observing the natural world and understanding how it works. These designs have been echoed in many different ways. Here are just a few products that have come from nature’s design.
The Bullet Train
The Japanese Bullet train takes its design from the beak of the King Fisher and the plummage of the owl. It makes it one of the fastest, most efficient passenger trains in the world. This same inspiration is being used in various aircraft as well.
So if mussels and acorn barnacles can attach to to the side of rocks and concrete pilings and be able to withstand powerful tidal flows and waves of salt water, why can’t we make a glue that can do the same? Well that is just what scientist are doing now. They are trying to figure out the chemical structure of the that extremely powerful mullusc glue to use for practical human applications.
In 1948 a Swiss electrical engineer named George de Mestral came up with the idea for velcro when he was hunting in the Alps and began to examine the burrs sticking to his clothes from burdock. He noticed the hundreds of hooks when he examined the burrs under a microscope. After several years of trial and error, he managed to come up with the design we know today and commercialize it.
Manchester University Scientists came up with the design by studying the feet of Geckos. The tiny hair-like structures called setae allow the lizards to climb walls and ceilings. The tape uses the same type of hairs and has become a popular alternative to adhesive
Bat Sonar Navigation inspires new products for the blind
By studying how bats communicate, scientists and inventors are creating new products for the blind including canes and sunglasses that communicate the distance to the user. These new fascinating tools will revolutionize how the blind interpret their surroundings and may open new opportunities for other inventions and drone robots in the future.
We still have a lot to learn from nature.
What other inventions can we come up with from studying the genius of nature’s design?