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CHALLENGE 3 How to work against gravity?

 Travelling in the mountains without an effort.

Can you imagine travelling in the mountains and hills without the need to go up or down? –How to reduce the gravity impact, make heavy things less heavy, climb up without climbing, lifting things without lifting?  Sounds impossible? This is exactly how all inventive challenge look like.

Mountain sheep show us the inventive solution. Sheep strive to keep the same altitude when grazing on the slopes of the hills. The result of this behaviour is that all paths of these animals are practically at horizontal position. Mountain sheep use inventive principle No12 – “Equipotentiality: reduce a gradient of forces – level it up, even it out, change the environment to reduce a gradient of forces”.  Also inventive principle of Continuity of useful action (20) may be considered, as there is no interruption in the process. This means that if we need to raise or descent, we should rearrange things around so the need to raise or descent is eliminated (or minimized), or performed by environment itself. 

Saving energy is very popular in living nature. Giraffes have similar challenge when bending while grazing. They have long neck and it is energy consuming and even dangerous for health to put the head at the ground level.  That is why they strive to found the food on the level of their heads – at the height of trees crowns. This is inventive principle of “Equipotentiality ”: keeping the same level for interacting systems.

Do we have similar challenges as mountain sheep and giraffes? - Oh, yes we do.Climbing the stairs, lifting and putting things down, traveling up the hills - all these actions are shear waste of energy while working against the gravity. So, the lesson from mountain sheep and giraffe is useful indeed.

If we use principle No12 “Equipotentiality” we will save a lot of energy, and we already have such examples of thinking naturally - floor level of a train and a platform, telescopic corridors that are carefully adjusted to the altitude of the aircraft door and many other cases when avoiding changes in altitude we economize our efforts. Here also we use some solution from the domain of “Structure” - Parameter change (35), Universality (6),  Intermediary (24)

 All the details of this principle manifestations in biology and technology you will find in our book “Inventor’s Manual”.

Olga Bogatyreva Posted by Olga Bogatyreva

Dr. O. Bogatyreva is a broadly qualified expert in the fields of creativity, innovation and advanced design, inventive problem solving. Her main interests are creative problem-solving techniques, psychology of invention, and teaching methods for different cultural environments.

Olga runs training courses in creativity, invention and bio-inspired design worldwide, consulting European Space Agency, UK Ministry of Defence and many other large companies. She also developed unique online course on creative problem-solving for industry with the original educational videos initially ordered by the University of Bath (UK).

Being Internationally certified expert in TRIZ (powerful technique for systematic invention process) Olga sold two patents on laboratory equipment, which was designed, manufactured, tested and widely used. 

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