Two interesting stories on how nature’s resources and engineering is put in action for solving interesting problems
Plan Bee to avoid elephant fatalities
According to the Wildlife Trust of India, train collisions have killed 266 elephants between 1987 to 2017. The collisions seem to occur where there is a high elephant habitat, or places termed ‘elephant corridors’.
To prevent similar incidents in future, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) adopted ‘Plan Bee’ last year.
It uses a device costing about Rs 2,000 which will be installed at level crossings at these accident prone areas. The device works by loudly broadcasting the buzz of swarming honeybees, audible up to 600 meters, a sound that would keep the elephants away. This is because the elephants have a natural fear of the perilous stings of the insects.
Ice stupas to solve water shortage
The engineer from Ladakh, in the Jammu region of north India, Sonam Wangchuk, was committed to solve the water shortage problem in one of the highest altitude regions of the world. Though filled with ice Ladakh can be equated to a desert with lack of water as ice melts and flows away.
His due diligence, helped him to unearth the fact that the ice glaciers were melting not because of the sun but due to the intensity of sunlight falling on them. He took inspiration from Buddhist stupas used as places for meditation and worship to create ‘ice stupas’.
Ice Stupas are conical in shape, which maximises the volume of ice that can be “grown”, while minimising the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. That means it keeps melting well into the spring, releasing up to 5,000 litres of water each day by “storing it in the sky”. And the stupas are simple. They are formed by running pipes below the frost line, at which temperature the water hovers between a liquid and solid state. Then the pipes turn skywards, spraying the water into -20C air, using the bitter cold to freeze it as it falls to earth.
Inspiration from nature to solve nature’s problems.
|I would like to ResonVate|
|with ideas on||simplicity, leveraging the concept|
|which can be applied in||product design, service design, process optimization|
|in areas like||Manufacturing, Marketing|
Dev Roy, Innovation Scout
Manish Jairath, Innovation Scout