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Nature And Technology in Synergy

An evolution of nature-inspired technology and invention


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The tremendous amount of progress in the development of technology has helped increase the quality of life. However, it may come as a surprise that some of the most advanced technology in existence incorporated Mother Nature’s unique design. It was in 1941 when a Swiss electrical engineer went hunting and found his clothes and his dog covered in burdock burrs. The idea of the clinging nature of the burdock’s method to spread its seed across greater distances inspired George de Mestral to invent what we know today as the velcro.


Later in 1987, drag resistance coating was invented by NASA scientists who were inspired by the microscopic scales on shark skin. The technology that was first used in the Americas’ Cup sailing race is today helping the United States Navy to increase the speed of their ships while also saving fuel. Similarly, the Japanese bullet train owes its looks to the kingfisher bird. This invention came about in 1990 when a Japanese engineer solved a noise problem known as a thunderclap from a high-speed train emerging from a tunnel. Not only did the design reduce the noise, but it also made the train more aerodynamic, which in return increased its efficiency.


In 2000, engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst managed to create a reuseable adhesive inspired by geckos. It allowed humans to climb a sheer glass wall and grippers to hold astronauts for space repairs. With this innovative technology and invention, humans can achieve even more and there are still endless possibilities to explore – when we remain curious and observant of nature.


How modern technology is inspired by the natural world