Biomimetics : Nature-Based Innovation book cover
1st Edition

Nature-Based Innovation

ISBN 9781439834763
Published September 21, 2011 by CRC Press
788 Pages 512 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Mimicking nature – from science fiction to engineering reality

Humans have always looked to nature’s inventions as a source of inspiration. The observation of flying birds and insects leads to innovations in aeronautics. Collision avoidance sensors mimic the whiskers of rodents. Optimization algorithms are based on survival of the fittest, the seed-picking process of pigeons, or the behavior of ant colonies. In recent years these efforts have become more intensive, with researchers seeking rules, concepts, and principles of biology to inspire new possibilities in materials, mechanisms, algorithms, and fabrication processes. A review of the current state of the art, Biomimetics: Nature Based Innovation documents key biological solutions that provide a model for innovations in engineering and science.

Leading experts address a wide range of topics, including:

  • Artificial senses and organs
  • Mimicry at the cell–materials interface
  • Multiscale modeling of plant cell wall architecture and tissue mechanics
  • The making of biomimetic composites
  • Electroactive polymer (EAP) actuators as artificial muscles
  • EAP-based refreshable braille displays
  • Biomimetic optics from the angles of biology and plants
  • Biomimicry of flying birds, insects, and marine biology
  • Applications of biomimetics in manufacturing, products, and medicine
  • Robotics, including the development of human-like robots
  • Biologically inspired design as a tool for interdisciplinary education
  • The biomimetic process in artistic creation

The final chapter outlines the challenges to biomimetic-related innovation and offers a vision for the future.

A follow-up to Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies (2005), this comprehensive reference methodically surveys the latest advances in this rapidly emerging field. It features an abundance of illustrations, including a 32-page full-color insert, and provides extensive references for engineers and scientists interested in delving deeper into the study of biomimetics.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Nature as a Source for Inspiration of Innovation; Yoseph Bar-Cohen

Artificial Senses and Organs—Natural Mechanisms and Biomimetic Devices; Morgana M. Trexler and Ryan M. Deacon

Biomimicry at the Cell–Material Interface; Kelsey A. Potter, Bo Gui, and Jeffrey R. Capadona

Multiscale Modeling of Plant Cell Wall Architecture and Tissue Mechanics for Biomimetic Applications; Alejandro Rey, Damiano Pasini, and Yogesh Kumar Murugesan

Biomimetic Composites; Daniel G.T. Strange and Michelle L. Oyen

Electroactive Polymer Actuators as Artificial Muscles; Yoseph Bar-Cohen

Refreshable Braille Displays Actuated by Electroactive Polymers; Yoseph Bar-Cohen

Biological Optics; H. Donald Wolpert

Biomimicry of the Ultimate Optical Device—The Plant; David W. Lee

Biologically Inspired Design: A Tool for Interdisciplinary Education; Jeannette Yen, Marc J. Weissburg, Michael Helms, and Ashok Goel

Self-reproducing Machines and Manufacturing Processes; Adrian Bowyer

Biomimetic Products; Tom Masselter, Wilhelm Barthlott, Georg Bauer, Jürgen Bertling, Frank Cichy, Petra Ditsche-Kuru, Friederike Gallenmüller, Maik Gude, Tobias Haushahn, Michael Hermann, Henning Immink, Jan Knippers, Julian Lienhard, Rolf Luchsinger, Karin Lunz, Claus Mattheck, Markus Milwich, Nils Mölders, Christoph Neinhuis, Anke Nellesen, Simon Poppinga, Marcus Rechberger, Simon Schleicher, Clemens Schmitt, Hannes Schwager, Robin Seidel, Olga Speck, Thomas Stegmaier, Iwiza Tesari, Marc Thielen, and Thomas Speck

Biomimetics for Medical Implants; Bert Müller

Application of Biomimetics in the Design of Medical Devices; Hande Argunsah and Brian L. Davis

Affective Robotics: Human Motion and Behavioural Inspiration for Safe Cooperation between Humans and Humanoid Assistive Robots; A. G. Pipe, R. Vaidyanathan, C. Melhuish, P. Bremner, P. Robinson, R. A. J. Clark, A. Lenz, K. Eder, N. Hawes, Z. Ghahramani, M. Fraser, M. Mirmehdi, P. Healey, and S. Skachek

Humanlike Robots—Capabilities, Potentials, and Challenges; Yoseph Bar-Cohen

Biomimetic Swimmer Inspired by the Manta Ray; Frank E. Fish, Hossein Haj-Hariri, Alexander J. Smits, Hilary Bart-Smith and Tetsuya Iwasaki

Biomimetics and Flying Technology; Brenda Kulfan and Anthony J. Colozza

The Biomimetic Process in Artistic Creation; Adi Marom and Gad Marom

Biomimetics—Reality, Challenges, and Outlook; Yoseph Bar-Cohen


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Dr. Yoseph Bar-Cohen is the Supervisor of the Electroactive Technologies Group at JPL, as well as a Senior Scientist there. He has (co) edited 10 books, co-authored over 390 publications, co-chaired 50 conferences, and has 36 registered patents. His books and other publications cover such topics as humanlike robots, biomimetics, nondestructive evaluation using ultrasonics and robotics and materials, etc. Business Week named him in 2003 as one of the five technology gurus who are "Pushing Tech's Boundaries." He is a NASA Fellow and Honors Award Winner, has two SPIE Lifetime Achievement Awards, and is the recipient of JPL's prestigious Magellan Award and many other honors and awards.


"… a convenient source of examples and literature references for engineering students interested in how natural patterns can be exploited in mechanical and materials engineering. … will be of most interest to roboticists, who can profitably exploit many of the mechanisms it describes."
Computing Reviews, June 2012