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Animals – the new best friends of inspired inventors

Animals - the new best friends of inspired inventors

Scientists have for long looked at animals and the environment for inspiration to develop new products. This is primarily because animals survive through adaptive skills. Humans make use of implements and equipment to survive, to make up for the inherent inability to survive with bare hands and legs. This is precisely why inventors have looked towards animals for inspiration.  Biomimetic and bio-inspired labs are the buzzword in technology today taking this to higher levels.

Recent developments have raised the bar and inspired inventions are now highly advanced. The most famous and popular is SpotMini from Boston Dynamics. This four-legged electric robot that mimics a dog, is less than 3 feet tall, weighs close to 66 pounds and has incredible balance, control and mobility. SpotMini will be available commercially in 2019 and expected to turn canine love into machine love.

Kim’s lab announced developments of Cheetah 3, a rescue robot that negotiates difficult terrain with incredible reflexes. Weighing 90 pounds, the robot possesses the ability to independently leap over obstacles that it encounters in its path. It has the ability to reconnoiter any location or site that may be considered as dangerous for humans. And it gets its ability to sense the objects without actually seeing them, which gives it complete visibility in the dark.

It will not be long before little devices will worm their way through endoscopies and plumbing lines to investigate blocks. Biologically Inspired Robotics Lab of Western Reserve University has developed a Biomimetic Worm Bot christened the CMMWorm that apes a worm in its movement. The contraction and expansion is mimicked in the robot which possesses the ability to detach and attach segments which gives it great flexibility in moving through tight spaces.

Medical instruments inspired by a shark’s scales? This may have sounded far-fetched some time back. But not anymore. Dr.Anthony Brennan, the founder of Sharklet Technologies has done precisely that. His company makes medical instruments that are bacteria resistant. The product is the result of antifouling studies that he undertook for the US Office of Naval Research.

As Dr. Sangbae Kim, director of the MIT university’s Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory put it, animals have evolved to be the best at survival, which makes it easy for the man to take a leaf out of their actions.


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