Computer Aided Biomimetics
Biomimetis refers to solving engineering problems by abstracting and studying
Engineering inspired by biology has led to various ground-breaking technological developments. Example areas of application include aerospace engineering and robotics. However, Biomimetics is not always successful and only sporadically applied in industry. The reason is that a systematic approach to biomimetics remains at large, despite the existence of a plethora of methods and design tools. In recent years computational tools have been proposed as well, which can potentially support a systematic integration of relevant biological knowledge during biomimetics. However, these so-called Computer-Aided Biomimetics (CAB) tools have not been able to fill all the gaps in the entire design process.
During this PhD project I investigated why existing CAB tools fail, proposed a novel approach – based on Information Extraction – and developedd a proof-of-concept for a CAB tool that makes it possible to work towards systematically applying biomimetics.
Designed and built a Natural Language Processing tool to identify relevant
open-ended information in scientific texts. The aim was to significantly reduce
the time spent on manual ontology curation for Computer-Aided Biomimetics.
Work towards a systematic and scalable approach to Biomimetics. The aim is to support
engineers during their search for relevant information in biology texts. What information
would an engineer ideally retrieve? And is that type of information actually available?
The interdisciplinary character of biomimetics has resulted in a plethora of approaches
and methods that propose different types of design processes. There are even plenty of
names that are semantically very similar: biomimetics/ Bio-Inspired Design (BID) / biomimicry
/ bionics / ... Although sustainable, creative and complex system design processes are
not mutually incompatible, they do focus on different aspects of design. These papers
explore the requirements for Computer-Aided Biomimetics. The focus is on reviewing existing
literature and establishing potential directions of research.