Imagine a smart microchip that is buried in the ground for a long time. Upon certain triggering conditions this chip begins to grow and consume materials from its surroundings, converting them into energy and structural cells. As the chip grows further, it reconfigures its shape to become a mobile robot. Using its recently created mobility, the chip becomes capable of searching and locating critical resources consuming them to grow even more.
The type and function of the specific cells that are formed depend on each cell’s role within the growing structure. This science-fiction scenario is inspired by true-life biology such as the growth of chicks from an egg or plants from a seed.
Yet given all our technological advances, it is still impossible to engineer such a reality.
Bionics as the term for the field of study involving copying, imitating, and learning from biology was coined by Jack Steele of the US Air Force in 1960 at a meeting at Wright–Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Otto H. Schmitt coined the term Biomimetics in 1969
(Schmitt, 1969) and this field is increasingly involved with emerging subjects of science and engineering.
The term itself is derived from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate.
This new science represents the study and imitation of nature’s methods, designs, and processes. While some of its basic configurations and designs can be copied, many ideas from nature are best adapted when they serve as inspiration for human-made capabilities. In this presentation, both biologically inspired and biologically mimicked technologies are discussed, and the terms biology, creatures, and nature are used synonymously. Nature has always served as a model for mimicking and inspiration for humans in their desire to improve their life.
By adapting mechanisms and capabilities from nature, scientific approaches have helped humans understand... [continues]
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