In biomimetics, the structure and function of biological systems are studied to inspire the design of materials, surfaces, instruments, buildings, etc. This course addresses basic skills required for conducting biomimetic research and development. The students are introduced to a range of important topics, such as:
– state-of-the-art and history of biomimetics;
– concepts of biomimetic design;
– the design process (e.g., morphological charts, Structure-Behaviour-Function modeling);
– techniques for analysing biological systems (e.g., Biocards, dimensional analysis);
– tools for design realisation;
– design evaluation.
In addition to topic discussions, practical work consisting of a mini-research project will apply the studied concepts. Small, interdisciplinary groups of students will analyse the functions and mechanics of a biological system, test the underlying physics using synthetic replicas, and translate the acquired knowledge to technical concepts. The topics that will be addressed to help identify and translate bioinspired solutions include for instance:
– functional surfaces;
– medical instruments;
– material science;
– industrial design.
Students deliver written and oral group presentations of the mini-research project.