Conceptualization of biomimetic sensors through functional representation of natural sensing solutions

DS 58-2: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 2, Design Theory and Research Methodology, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Stroble, Jacquelyn Kay; McAdams, Daniel A.; Stone, Robert B.
Series: ICED
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Page(s): 53-64


Classification of natural systems by engineering terms found in the Functional Basis, a well-defined modeling lexicon, links the ingenuity of the natural world to the engineering domain. Functional representation through language and models describes the function or purpose of a biological organism?s capabilities, which is then utilized for conceptual design and inspiration of new products and processes. The research presented in this paper explores two biological kingdoms for natural sensing solutions and the fundamental processes that occur during sensing, allowing the relationships between biology and engineering to be established. The resultant information serves as a guide to engineers with limited biological knowledge for leveraging the unique biological designs. Surveying biology specifically for natural sensing solutions finds six main types of extraneous sensing in existence. Engineering terms analogous to biological descriptions demonstrate that biological organisms can be likened to engineered systems at varying levels of fidelity. Functional representation was found to be a reliable method for transferring knowledge between the biology and engineering domains.

Keywords: Biomimicry, Sensing, Function, Functional modeling, Concept generation


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.