Bio Inspired Design

The course Bio-Inspired Design gives an overview of non-conventional mechanical approaches in nature and shows how this knowledge can lead to more creativity in mechanical design and to better (simpler, smaller, more robust) solutions than with conventional technology. The course discusses a large number of biological organisms with smart constructions, unusual mechanisms or clever sensing and processing methods and presents a number of technical examples and designs of bio-inspired instruments and machines. Examples of topics: Strength at low weight, stiffness with soft structures, robustness and redundancy, storing energy in springs, energetically efficient muscle configurations, biological vibration systems, clamping with hands, claws, suction, glue, dry- and wet adhesion, biological walking, swimming, crawling and flying methods, locomotion of micro- and single-celled-organisms, biosensing, simple laws for complex behavior, evolution and engineering of living systems. Structure of the course: 1. Bioconstruction (how are creatures constructed) - Mechanical stiffness & motion - Hydrostatic stiffness & motion - Bioenergy (biological springs) 2. Biopropulsion (how do creatures move) - Macroscale: walking, crawling, swimming & flying - Microscale: propulsion of single-celled organisms 3. Bioclamping (how do creatures grasp) - General, hands & adhesion 4. Biodevelopment (how do creatures evolve) - Evolution & engineering of living systems To teach students how to create smart and truly innovative designs, students are trained with the ACCREx design method that was developed at the 3mE department Biomechanical Engineering. Alternating intuitive brainstorming with logical, scientific abstracting and categorizing, ACRREx structures and guides a design process in the direction of fundamentally new design solutions. Study Goals The student must be able to: 1. describe methods for creative design 2. identify mechanical working principles and phenomena of biological creatures - explain their construction, motion, and/or processing mechanisms - formalize the essence of these mechanisms in models - derive non-conventional design principles from these models 3. implement these design principles in innovative mechanical devices - summarize the transition process from the biological to the mechanical domain - present their design in drawings or preferably in working models

Organization: TU Delft

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