A trip to the London Zoo and a delightful encounter with a millipede brought back those thoughts about evolution.
Since the beginning of it all every living creature has been struggling to develop the perfect features for survival. There are bacteria living in hot dwells, there are plants at the bottom of the sea that need no light, there are butterflies with ‘glass wings’ that can hardly be seen and the list goes on and on.
Fortunately, mankind has realized the benefits of these developments long ago. Even though some claim that Leonardo da Vinci, the forward thinking inventor of many machines and gadgets, was the first to create prototypes according to nature, the birth of ‘Bionics’ might as well date back to the Egyptians: It was them to discover the water-repellent characteristics of the Lotus plant.
Studying animals makes creative
Since then a lot of animal features have been utilized for scientific purposes. The sonar of dolphins is used to map underwater landscapes, shark-skin was the model for bathing suits and the feet of frogs and crickets helped to develop climbing devices.
But the Bionics is not even close to exploiting nature’s techniques. Scientists are still working on fabrics that have similar strength as spider webs or flying devices that resemble the flight of a dragonfly.
The only downside to the progresses in Bionics is that mankind seems to use everything he learns from nature not to live in increased unison with nature, but to further invade it. Beetle-like robots crawl the surface of otherwise impassable areas – animal-like machines fly, drive and climb.
But by getting to places we never saw before – like the Mars or the bottom of the sea – we might as well learn something useful that might help us safe this planet one day.
Furthermore Bionics helps to develop totally functioning (rather futuristic) body-parts like hands and eyes. Therefore this branch of science also holds the amazing ability to restore the quality of living.