Automating Design and Discovery: from bio-inspired robotics to biomimetic discovery

The INCOSE Nature Systems Working Group hosted a webinar on September 26/2014 by Hod Lipson on adaptive robotic systems that can handle unstructured or unforeseen circumstances without the control functions being 'designed in'.  Rather than emulating specific outcomes of evolution, Lipson's team is emulating evolution itself, starting with a collection of components, allowing connections to form and then combining/mutating/selecting the ones that perform the best.  The first attempts involved computer modeling and simulation, including various forms of 'soft robots' that evolved the ability to move.  Other projects involved physical robots where the controllers were able to evolve with the goal of robots that could jump, run and gallop. 

Limits of nature and advances of technology: What does biomimetics have to offer to aquatic robots? 

Author: F. E. Fish

In recent years, the biomimetic approach has been utilized as a mechanism for technological advancement in the field of robotics. However, there has not been a full appreciation of the success and limitations of biomimetics.

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