What Is Amphibio? RCA-IIS Tokyo Design Lab’s 3D-Printed Wearable Device That Functions as a Giant Gill

Look out, fish!

The bullet train in Japan used to make a loud noise every time it came out of the tunnel. The inventor was an avid birder, who noticed how kingfisher birds dive into water but make no sounds or ripples. Imitating the same phenomenon, he changed the shape of the bullet train to resemble the bird’s beak and the train became noise-free,” says Seema Anand, co-founder of Biomimicry India.

If we take the time to look closely, inspiration abounds: Insects are the planet’s most diverse group of organisms, with more than 900,000 different insect species. These species represent tremendous potential as scientists look for new solutions to complex problems in medicine, infrastructure, agriculture, and other challenges. But we had better look fast: Like every other type of life on Earth, insect numbers are plummeting. [Or link to 2N story on this topic.]

So, if the Amphibio is perfected and made available to the public, what potential uses could we imagine for it? Deep-sea exploration and shipwreck treasure-hunting are a few recreational uses. Or perhaps, in an era of higher sea levels, humans will someday explore the underwater cities of Miami and New York City.  

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