Technology got evolved over time, but we couldn’t get our “eureka” moment without the help of the animals. Animal inspired us to develop new technologies that helped improve our modern society. So here is the list of some technologies that were inspired by animals.
Mosquitoes – Surgical Needles
Let’s agree with the fact that we all hate mosquitoes – they come, buzz around and suck our blood day and night. At the beginning, most of the people don’t feel the mosquitoes bite as their proboscis get into under your skin. This proboscis is what Japanese researchers from Kansai University wanted to replicate and use for good.
They invented three-pronged needle that easily get into the skin to inject medicines with no issue. Thanks to those annoying little bugs we learned something
Fireflies – LED Light Bulbs
We all have LED lights in our homes – these lights last longer than the traditional light bulb. But not many knows that the LED Bulbs (Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulbs) were inspired by small bugs that fly around with green light known as fireflies. Their unique ability to project light from their body help us evolve the old light bulb Edison invented.
Researchers from Penn State University found that if we mimick the firefly’s microstructures ability to provide light into LED Lights, it improved the light distribution by almost 90%. Those small magical bugs light our modern world with their natural light microstructure.
Bats – Walking Sticks For The Blind
Ultracane is unique stick which help blind people with one of their hardest daily tasks – move around. When the stick gets closer to certain objects it start vibrating to warn the user. This mechanism (echolocation) was inspired by none other than our night friends – The bats.
Bats are almost completely blind and their only way to predict objects/obstacles in their way is by sending ultrasonic pulses to many directions, and as these ultrasonic pulses come back, it helps the bats to sense and react to obstacles. Thanks to the bats, blind people can walk more safely and independently.
Camels – Water Purification
Camels have the most interesting technique to survive in the desert with limited water resources. Scientists attempted to understand how camels do this, but they couldn’t figure it out completely.
At first they found that camels recycle their exhaled air at night by cooling it and then absorbing it back once it got mixed with the atmosphere again. According to that, Sahara Desert researchers used this idea to create water purification system that removes salt from saltwater. This invention seriously improved the survivability of humans around the world.
Hummingbirds – Helicopters
I am sure you wonder how Hummingbirds and helicopters are similar right? They both have the ability to hover in place without moving, they can move horizontal and vertically while hovering if they choose to. But surprisingly, Hummingbirds gave helicopters some pro tips as that affected the way helicopters fly.
Researchers from Stanford University and Wageningen University tested 12 different hummingbird species and found thing that changed our known helicopter models. They found that the hummingbird’s wings are large for their body and how powerful these wings are. These findings also help to save power energy for helicopters and made them better thanks to hummingbird’s pro tip.
Elephants – Bionic Arms
Elephants are one of the wild animals you wish you won’t encounter alone in wild. One of the deadly thing about them is their majestic trunk which is built from 40,000 muscles with no bones at all. Scientists took this as advantage of this fact and start developing new inventions.
Scientists from Germany actually developed a bionic arms, a robotic arm replacement and replica to human arm inspired by the elephant’s trunk.
Sea Otters – Wetsuits
Sea Otters have ability to handle and stay in cold temperature water thanks to their protective fur layer that protect their warmth like many animals in the wild. MIT researchers took this fact and started researching how to make it – He created the wetsuits.
Within these wetsuits the researchers built a replica to the otters protective layer – by designing small furry rubbery pelts which trap pockets of warm air and prevent losing body temperature. Thanks to them, divers can enjoy diving without being afraid of cold water.
Kingfishers – Trains
Train manufacturers have been also got improved with models and technology thanks to the animals among them – the Kingfishers. A Japanese rail company struggled with solving one of their own train’s design issue when their trains made noises while they got out from a tunnel.
So you wonder how Kingfishers got into this picture? Well, thanks to one of the company’s engineer who had bird-watching habit. He solved the company’s problem by the inspiration of kingfisher’s long ,sleek beak. He designed the train like it with long nose. Thanks to that, every time their trains get out of the tunnels, the air particles move over the train and reduce the level of noise in those areas.
Woodpeckers – Black Boxes
Woodpeckers are one of the most interesting birds that exists – they are able to knock their head like a drill toward wood for long time without damaging their head. The reason is that their skulls naturally build with incredible shock absorbers – this fact made many scientists curious.
Researchers from UC Berkeley showed that the woodpecker’s beak is filled with spongy and cerebrospinal fluid that helps them absorb the shock impacts. Researchers converted this concept into a black box to put on airplanes. Thanks to the woodpeckers, those flight recorders have better chances to survive a plane crash and help up figure out what happened to the planes.
Spiders and Ants – Unsinkable Metal
Inventing unsinkable ships seems nearly impossible, but thanks to small bugs we seem to get really close to, humans accomplished this task. Scientists from the University of Rochester studied unique spiders and ants that manage to float on water in any conditions.
They found out that these bugs have pockets of air bubbles that trapped within a self-made underwater dome, which gave them the ability to float on water without sinking. Using this idea, engineers managed to replicate this ability and made ships with a smaller risk of sinking.