Why engineers are looking to animals for new technology

As a race, humans have loads of shortcomings. We’re no longer very fast, no longer all that sturdy and whilst we were capable of create generation that facilitates us triumph over our environments, we’re no longer very good at adapting to them. Animals, then again, were effectively adapting and evolving to fulfill the world’s challenges lengthy earlier than we have been stumbling around.



whilst it is probably too overdue for us to learn those training ourselves from our animal counterparts, it’s no longer too overdue to bypass them on to our inventions. And biomimetic and bio-inspired labs the world over are doing just that.

“in case you reflect onconsideration on mobility era in the engineering global, we've got airplanes within the air, ships inside the water, but none of these technology are available with out our synthetic change of the surroundings,” Dr. Sangbae Kim, companion professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and director of the college’s Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory, advised TechCrunch. “Animals have evolved to be the fine at mobility, due to the fact, for maximum of them, it’s critical for survival.”

Crafting technology to mimic nature is not anything new, Kim says. From growing aerodynamic era to small conveniences like Velcro, human beings have been taking a cue from the natural world for as long as we’ve been inventing. the sphere of engineering, says Kim, has this kind of inspiration as an intrinsic function and it is going to be critical to solving troubles which include catastrophe reconnaissance, exertions and even aged care.

“that is era we must have,” says Kim. “no longer just something cool to have.”

With new technological tendencies, this kind of stimulated design has long gone far past Velcro in recent years.

Cheetah 3:
A prodigy of Kim’s lab, the Cheetah three is a 90 pound rescue robotic designed to traverse terrain that is dangerous or inaccessible to human beings (e.g. strength plant inspection of herbal disaster reconnaissance) with cat-like reflexes and movement. Its predecessors were capable of make independent running leaps over limitations of their route (granted, at a drastically slower velocity than its namesake) and Cheetah 3 has the brought capability to finish these kinds of duties even as blind. through no longer counting on its sensors and cameras, Cheetah 3 is designed to have a higher intuitive knowledge of its environment and perform in eventualities which might be both too dark or “noisy” (too visually stimulating.)

Sharklet:
natural thought isn't simplest found in robotics, however in material engineering as properly. In 2002, Dr. Anthony Brennan, a cloth technology and engineering professor at the college of Florida, become taking part in Naval studies to design strategies to hold vessels from developing algae and barnacles on their sides. at the same time as exploring the question, Brennan found that sharks — who spend their lives slowly transferring thru water — had answered it lengthy in the past. analyzing the patterns in a shark’s scales, Brennan found that the unique ribbed, diamond shape of the shark’s scales discouraged microorganisms from settling on the floor.

Taking this discovery beyond naval ships, Brennan founded the corporation Sharklet in 2007 to design medical instruments constructed with this topology and create a non-toxic antibiotic alternative to harsh chemical cleaners.
Why engineers are looking to animals for new technology  Why engineers are looking to animals for new technology Reviewed by Talk For Tech on August 24, 2018 Rating: 5

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