HOW NATURE HAS INSPIRED OUR TECH
We live in a high-tech world, with new and powerful devices and connections morphing our lifestyles into something that would have seemed sci-fi fantasy just a generation ago. But the hardware and concepts driving this change are not always crunched from a computer or an algorithm. Some of the biggest breakthroughs have been inspired by nature.
REEF ROBOCOP - ‘HASTA LA VISTA’ CROWN OF THORNS
One of the long-standing threats to the Great Barrier Reef may finally have met its match, with a flotilla of undersea robots set to wage war on the plague of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish. Crown-of-thorns starfish are thought responsible for almost half the decline in surveyed coral since 1985.
ACROBOTS – RE-THINKING WHAT ROBOTS MIGHT DO
Our concept of robots needs to be re-imagined, as human like forms scale mountains, run, jump and perform back-flips as required. Possibly more Jackie Chan than Terminator, the agility of these robo-beings creates a whole new set of possibilities and roles for them to perform. The latest prototype is known as ‘Atlas’.
WILDLIFE CSI – AUSSIE TECH CATCHING ANIMAL TRAFFICKERS
It’s a mind-boggling concept, but a certain type of Aussie cockatoo is worth $30,000 and the trade in illegal wildlife is rife. It has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, with many endangered species highly prized. Poachers and traffickers have become more devious and sophisticated in their methods, but Aussie technology is now cracking the global crime rings.
THE CLOUDING OF CLIMATE CHANGE
While the vast majority of the world’s scientists agree that Climate Change is real and a serious immediate threat to our future, there is something of an ‘elephant in the room’ clouding the issue. And that problem is clouds themselves – those lovely, wispy pieces of poetry that roll across the sky - and the role they will play as the planet continues to overheat. Getting it right could be imperative to our collective survival.
SETTLING OUR CONFLICT – FEEDING THE BIRDS
It is one of life’s simple pleasures to feed native birds in our backyards, marvelling at the wildlife and beauty on our own doorsteps. But it has become a guilt-ridden pleasure for many, amid claims we’re killing with kindness. Thankfully, the latest expert advice is a little more forgiving.