Since childhood you might have known that the source from where we learn the most about our life and how to lead it, is our parents. Yes parents nurture us and give us the first inkling of the basic knowledge that becomes the base on which our entire persona is built. Those foundation bricks are the one that decide how we grow up and do things. Similarly there is another guiding force around us whom we tend to ignore by keeping a closed eye towards her. She also nurture us in the same way our parents does. And there are lot of things that we can learn from her and solve a plethora of problems that we face everyday. You might be wondering at this stage, that what exactly I am trying to bring into the discussion.
Nothing unknown as such, it is something which has been done since time immemorial, only that its significance in today’s world has magnified. All I am trying to say is how we can learn from nature. Now exactly what should we learn? Actually there is no limit or boundary to that. How about stealing nature’s best ideas, that nature employ to move on, and implement those designs to solve some of the critical problems of humans. Yes this is a very interesting field of study, it is called Biomimicry.
I think it would be better if we can understand the concept by some examples where nature has provided excellent ideas to solve our problems.
How can a Kingfisher give you a smooth ride: Amazed? So you should be. Have you heard about The Bullet Train of Japan? The fastest train in the world, traveling around 200 miles per hour. One of the major problem that it faced was complains from residents staying one-quarter mile away from the the tunnels through which the trains passed. The complains were due to the huge noise produced when the trains emerged from the tunnels. This noise was due to the large thunder claps produced by the changes in the air-pressure every time the train passed through the tunnels. You know what they did to solve the problem. They learnt it from nature!! From the bird Kingfisher to be precise. The student of nature in this case was the chief engineer of the train, an avid bird-watcher.
The chief engineer observed Kingfisher which dives into bodies of water from air with very little splash of water to catch fish. He observed that it is exactly a similar phenomenon of a body moving into one medium from another at high speed, similar to the train entering the tunnel. He modeled the front end of the train as the beak of Kingfisher. Results were amazing!! It not only resulted in a quieter train but also saving of 15% of electricity. To act as an icing on the cake, the train was now able to move 10% faster.
How can a Bat enlighten your world: Have you ever imagined how a Bat moves in the dark? Without getting struck by an unseen obstruction in its dark path. And can you think of what learning we can derive from this characteristics of Bats. Sound Foresight, a small company in Barnsley, England thought about it and came up with a product. They created what they call the UltraCane. It is a high tech-device for the vision-impaired and it uses sonar-like technology as used by the Bats to navigate in the dark to prevent collisions. The cane sends out sound waves ahead of the person who is holding it. These senses the upcoming objects like street signs or people in the road. It then provides a tactile warning about the upcoming obstacle to the holder of the cane through it’s handle.
Isn’t it interesting that so many things are there in nature that can make our life more sustainable and leave our earth greener, because all of these solutions from nature are eco-friendly and sustainable. Lets stop here and reflect about what else can we learn from nature. I will be back soon with more such learning, what about you?