Spring of 2013. I still need two courses to finish my required course work towards my Ph.D. in Bioengineering. After taking a quick look at the courses being offered in engineering department, I was in two minds…and then Riddhi suggested me to have a look at the course called Biomimetics and Bioinspiration. Wow interesting!
Wait… but what is biomimetics? Biomimetics literally means imitating from the nature. (I agree…I googled it!) Designing materials, machines and even computer algorithms (!) based on examples from the nature. Cool isn’t it! Before joining Mechanical Engineering program at Temple University, I hardly took any biology course. Therefore I still remember my cell biology and physiology classes during my Masters and how I was fascinated by the fact that the smallest parts of the body working in accord to make our body function properly. I often wondered how these parts are precisely coordinated and if we ever be able to replicate it? I did not know there is a discipline exclusively devoted to this thought! Obviously this is just one part of the biomimetics field and now I realize that biomimetics is not limited to human body for inspiration. It goes beyond that.
Often technology is blamed for driving us away from the nature. But I think with the advancement in nanotechnology, production processes we have got a new and improved perspective to look at the nature. The nature has so much to teach us and technology has given us a tool to understand its lesson. We can now not only enjoy colors of butterflies but at the same time admire its delicate structure, the brilliant design behind that beauty and use it for some practical purpose!
I remember, once I asked my mechatronics professor “what is mechatronics to you? How will you define it?” He answered “It’s like making 1+1=11…taking best of both fields (Mechanical Engineering and Electronics) to make better world.” On the similar note I think Biomimetics to me is making 1+1=11. Combining the best of technology and nature!
Some food for thought!
That’s it for this week…See you next week!