Biomimetics: Its practice and theory

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Biomimetics: its practice and theory

Julian F.V Vincent, Olga A Bogatyreva, Nikolaj R Bogatyrev, Adrian Bowyer and Anja-Karina Pahl

J. R. Soc. Interface 2006 3, 471-482 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2006.0127 

Biomimetics, a name coined by Otto Schmitt in the 1950s for the transfer of ideas and analogues from biology to technology, has produced some significant and successful devices and concepts in the past 50 years, but is still empirical. We show that TRIZ, the Russian system of problem solving, can be adapted to illuminate and manipulate this process of transfer. Analysis using TRIZ shows that there is only 12% similarity between biology and technology in the principles which solutions to problems illustrate, and while technology solves problems largely by manipulating usage of energy, biology uses information and structure, two factors largely ignored by technology. 

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