Cats, birds, mice…have all served as an inspiration for various technological inventions. Now, it’s the lizard’s turn

Who would have thought that a lizard would trigger a revolution in the tech world?

AD: Hi, back from your walk?

BC: Yes! The cool breeze, the sunrise, the sight of the frothy waves — it’s probably why poets are so much in love with Nature…

AD: Well, even the tech world has constantly sought inspiration from Nature.

BC: How? By making computers hibernate?

AD: Very funny! You must have noticed the Catseye road reflectors during your early morning walks… They were inspired by the way the cat’s eyes reflect light in absolute darkness.

BC: I bet the mouse was one such inspiration too. Once you get one into your room, there’s no getting rid of it.

AD: You’re the only person in the world who can look at an airplane flying overhead and think of bird dropping.

BC: C’mon, I was just referring to the current generation’s obsession with technology.

AD: I don’t think that’s a new fad — it has existed from the time man stuck a pair of wings on himself and tried to fly… Besides, look at your shoes. The Velcro.

BC: I’ve read about how George de Mestral was intrigued by the way seeds with burrs latched on to his trousers. He then designed a texture that would replicate it.

AD: It’s not just plants — even the gecko has impressed scientists...

BC: Apparently geckos don’t blink — could that result in flicker-free monitors?

AD: Why don’t you try adjusting your screen refresh rate to minimise flicker? On the subject of geckos, I was referring to their incredible climbing abilities.

BC: Imagine how eerie it would be to watch a laptop climb on to the table by itself.

AD: Don’t be ridiculous, I was talking about robots that can climb any surface. Another big development has been a special kind of tape that works without any adhesive, and yet sticks.

BC: So it wouldn’t leave any marks on paper or on walls.

AD: That’s right, and scientists have even demonstrated its adhesive strength by suspending humans and objects from it.

BC: No humans please, the last thing the world needs is a Geckoman franchise, courtesy Hollywood.

AD: Too late — Spiderman has an archenemy known as Lizard who has gecko-like climbing skills too.

BC: Pardon the pun, but why can’t we just stick to Sellotape or Scotch Tape?

AD: This new product can make a huge difference across different fields… It can replace sutures in surgeries to bind the area operated upon. It could also be used as a medicine — just stick it on the body to dispatch medicine to a specific part.

BC: If it can replace vaccine injections, the man who makes it happen would be a hero to every kid because he would have achieved what even Superman couldn’t — take the pain out of childhood.

AD: Absolutely! The industrial segment is equally excited because now, anti-skid will take on a new meaning. Suddenly, driving on roads caked with ice will no longer be a challenge.

BC: What about industrial adhesives? It could spell relief for workers — they wouldn’t have to spend desperate evenings trying to get industrial glue off their hands.

AD: It could also be used to improve safety devices for workers who work in high altitudes…

BC: Perhaps we should request the International Olympics Committee to use it on their medals.

AD: What for?

BC: After each Olympic event, we hear about how a medal went out of our grasp — maybe gecko tape could fix that.


Stop kidding with technologyOctober 17, 2012