Nature is the most awesome , self-mechanised system with innumerable mysteries and interesting conceptions. Mankind has the inevitable interest to mimic things from nature and to take a lot of inspirations from it. The range of inventions from airplanes to underwater submarines, nature has influenced and played a vital role in developing our area of inventions and in its wide expansion.
So , Biomimetics (or) Biomimicry is taking inspirational thoughts from nature and applying it in a wise manner to meet human needs and to make life efficient. Since nature never fails in its own rules and concepts, it is really good to rely on it and develop innovative stuff.
In this series of articles, we see different examples of biomimetics, which are mind blowing and noteworthy.
1.THE ART OF MIMICKING GECKOS:
In our houses and gardens, we see a lot of lizards climbing up and down on walls, surface of tree trunk.etc. It is the rows of thousands of tiny hair-like structures on their feet (called setae ) that are responsible for this amazing ability of geckos. These setae create weak attractive forces between the surface of feet and the climbing surface. This attractive force created is instant and without much effort, geckos can create and remove such forces in different regions of surface while climbing.
Climbing pads inspired by this concept of gecko climbing, were developed. Nevertheless, some serious problems arose.
When the size of the pad is large, the stickiness got reduced. Practically, geckos don't distribute their body weight evenly on the setae of it's feet. Some setae stick to the surface with quite strong force and some other setae are never involved in sticking with the climbing surface.
So it is an uphill task to create such a distribution of weight to the various parts of the pads. These problems were overcome by using suitable material and distributing the weight to tiny springs attached to the pad.In case, if a region of pad gets detached from the surface suddenly, the weight distributed to that region will be redistributed to the rest of the pad. This ensures effective adhesiveness with the climbing surface .
Further developments and improvements are needed and are concerned in research. In general, this lays the base for the working principle of climbing pads. These pads are used for boulder climbing, cleaning of skyscrapers. etc. Finally , we owe a big hats-off to the geckos' fantabulous capacity!!.