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Proceedings of CAD'15, 2015, 309-314
Embedding Biological Knowledge in a Conceptual Design Tool

Niccolò Becattini, Gaetano Cascini, Francesco Rosa, Politecnico di Milano

Abstract. Life evolution is estimated in 3.8 billion of years and it is commonly agreed that Nature evolved toward living organisms capable to live with an efficient use of resources. The use of these solutions for technical purposes is old, at least, as the human life. After a long period that begun with the First Industrial Revolution when Nature was indiscriminately exploited, this tendency has found a new blossom in the past decades, when the lack of resources has led scientists to rethink the way we look at Nature in order to learn from it, instead of overworking it. Not surprisingly, in the last fifty years the imitation of Nature has become a multifaceted research topic, as witnessed by the overlapping objectives of Bionics, Biomimetics, Biomimicry and Bio-Inspired Design. Using Nature as a source of inspiration allows developing breakthrough innovations, but it is worth noting that the process of Biologically-Inspired Design requires multi-disciplinary competences and a different mindset with respect to typical engineering design approaches as Dong well highlighted by describing Bio-Inspired Design as the understanding of design competence from biological evidence. A major limitation of Bio-Inspired Design (BID) is therefore the identification of the most appropriate biological resources suitable for addressing an engineering problem, due to the huge dimension of the information fund and to the lack of a proper guidance for engineers about how to orientate themselves in biological literature.

Keywords. Biomimicry, Bio-Inspired Design, Biomimetics

DOI: 10.14733/cadconfP.2015.309-314