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Proceedings Paper

Biology doesn’t waste energy: that’s really smart
Author(s): Julian F. V. Vincent; Olga Bogatyreva; Nikolaj Bogatyrev
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Paper Abstract

Biology presents us with answers to design problems that we suspect would be very useful if only we could implement them successfully. We use the Russian theory of problem solving - TRIZ - in a novel way to provide a system for analysis and technology transfer. The analysis shows that whereas technology uses energy as the main means of solving technical problems, biology uses information and structure. Biology is also strongly hierarchical. The suggestion is that smart technology in hierarchical structures can help us to design much more efficient technology. TRIZ also suggests that biological design is autonomous and can be defined by the prefix "self-" with any function. This autonomy extends to the control system, so that the sensor is commonly also the actuator, resulting in simpler systems and greater reliability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 March 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6168, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), 616801 (16 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682174
Show Author Affiliations
Julian F. V. Vincent, The Univ. of Bath (United Kingdom)
Olga Bogatyreva, The Univ. of Bath (United Kingdom)
Nikolaj Bogatyrev, The Univ. of Bath (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6168:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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