Topics: DNA, Bionics, Biology Pages: 6 (1641 words) Published: November 13, 2010
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 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 related phenomena and associated principles in order to engineer novel devices and improve their capability. The cell-based structure, which makes up the majority of biological creatures, offers the ability to grow with fault-tolerance and self-repair, while doing Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies all of the things that characterize biological systems. Biomimetic structures that are made of multiple cells would allow for the design of devices and mechanisms that are impossible with today’s capabilities. Emerging Nano-technologies are increasingly enabling the potential of such capabilities.


I. The Engineering Term- Bionics:

* The idea of bionics came from the success of living organisms in solving problems in their environment. * Natural selection will operate in nature to make the organisms well adapted to their environment. * Such biological methods and solutions provided an insight to develop engineering systems in an alternate way. * Bionics involves ‘Reverse Engineering’ methods and principles of design found in living organisms. Till now there is no general methodology to give a systematic approach to bionics. * The first step in engineering design is identification of the system to be developed and its important parameters. * But in bionics, to develop a system, one has to identify a possible system from all the biological systems available in nature and then comparing with the engineering that is to be developed. * This type of methodology is known as ‘Concept development”. It forms the critical phase in bionics. It applies all the possible aspects of living system to achieve functions in the engineering system that is to be developed.


3.2.1 Artificial Organs:

* Augmenting or replacing body organs with artificial mechanisms and devices is increasingly enabled as a result of...

References: * Potentials and trends in Biomimetics: Arvin v. Gleich, Christian Pade
* Biomimetics: Yoseph Bar- Cohen
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