Nature-inspired Technology (Biomimicry)
Research in the field of biomimicry seeks to develop solutions to contemporary engineering problems, based on structures and behaviours borrowed from the animal world.
Throughout millions of years of evolution animals have solved their “engineering” problems, which the technological world is confronting today and seeking to solve by means of trial and error. The effective solutions survive and develop further; and the others become extinct.
Flight, for example, developed in animals millions of years ago; whereas humans only managed to develop means of flight around one hundred years ago, inspired by birds and insects, which taught us that it was possible. The rapid technological developments that are taking place in our time enable the development, creation, miniaturisation and computerisation to clone and print innovative solutions to both old and new technological problems.
Examples of solutions inspired by evolution engage with questions such as – how to create biodegradable materials in order to replace plastics; how to produce and create materials for use as innovative drugs and environmentally-friendly pesticides and paints; how to move efficiently and autonomously in unfamiliar surroundings; how to fly, swim, run and jump with minimum effort and maximum manoeuvrability; how to shoot down a moving target; how to move in swarms; how to sense the environment; and how to create smarter robots?
The answers to these and other questions await the researchers who will discover how animals manage all these aspects, and their discoveries wil contribute to the technological developments of tomorrow.
Researchers in this field: