Podcast: How the kingfisher’s beak inspired the design of the bullet train

In many ways, the sound of crickets chirping is the sound of nature. But crickets don’t have vocal cords. The sound that is ultimately heard is the result of a far more complex process involving the insect’s wings. And scientists have taken inspiration from how the cricket chirps to create the world’s smallest speakers. This is known as biomimicry or biomimetics, which simply put, is adapting a technological design from something observed in nature.
Several useful inventions that we rely on today are a product of seeking inspiration from nature, such as Velcro, LED lights and turbines; by observing natural species as varied as crickets and hawks. This growing popular science acknowledges that nature can be more advanced in design than what humans can conceive. Biomimetics now a full-fledged field of study.

This episode of The Intersection looks at how some of the great feats of design are inspired by nature, including the bullet train’s resemblance to a kingfisher’s beak.

This is the latest episode of The Intersection, a fortnightly podcast on Audiomatic. For more such podcasts, visit audiomatic.in.

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