Scientists and engineers are increasingly turning to nature for inspiration. The solutions arrived at by natural selection are often a good starting point in the search for answers to scientific and technical problems. Equally, designing and building bioinspired devices or systems can tell us more about the original animal or plant model.
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, the essential new journal from IOP, will publish research involving the study and distillation of principles and functions found in biological systems that have been developed through evolution, and application of this knowledge to produce novel and exciting basic technologies and new approaches to solving scientific problems.
The requisite bow to Darwin doesn’t do much to spoil the fun of looking closer at these complex systems. It all reminds me of last fall’s Cohen/Fuller debate at Warwick University, where Fuller went into ID’s value as a heuristic and reminded listeners that they didn’t need to believe there was a designer… just working with the idea of design in nature as a sort of model might be immensely productive.
In the first issue, Yoseph Bar-Cohen gives a through introduction to biomimetics. Quoting:
The term biomimetics, which was coined by Otto H Schmitt (Schmitt 1969), represents the studies and imitation of nature’s methods, mechanisms and processes. Nature’s capabilities are far superior in many areas to human capabilities, and adapting many of its features and characteristics can significantly improve our technology (Bar-Cohen 2005, Vincent 2001).
Finish reading the entire article here.