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Abstract title From biology to robotics
Author Prof. Hosoi, Anette, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States of America (Presenting author)
Topic Physics of fluids
Abstract text

In this talk I will discuss various projects in which we take inspiration from nature to advance technology. The driving force behind bio-inspired design is the idea that, thanks to natural selection, if a structure exists in nature that performs a desired function, it is difficult for engineers to dramatically improve upon the natural design. Yet, historically, the countless failures in biomimetics have been more notorious than its successes (e.g. airplanes with flapping wings). There are many reasons for these failures: impractical energy requirements and complexity of controls, among others. To avoid these pitfalls, our biomimetic studies focus on simple biological systems (preferably organisms with primitive or, better yet, non-existant central nervous systems) in which the energy requirements are low and the biological solutions to challenging questions are grounded in mechanics rather than in neurological controls.