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Using Biological Inspiration to Build Artificial Life That Locomotes

  • Robert J. Full
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2217)

Abstract

Nature’s general principles can provide biological inspiration for robotic designs. Biological inspiration in the form of genetic programming and algorithms has already shown utility for automated design. However, reliance on evolutionary processes mimicking nature will not necessarily result in designs better than what human engineers can do. Biological evolution is more like a tinkerer than an engineer. Natural selection is constrained to work with pre-existing materials inherited from an ancestor. Engineers can start from scratch and select optimal raw materials and tools for the task desired. Nature provides useful hints of what is possible and design ideas that may have escaped our consideration. The discovery of general biological design principles requires a collapse of dimensions in complex systems. Reducing redundancies by seeking synergies yields simple, general principles that can provide inspiration. Even if we had all the general biological principles, we don’t have the technology to use them effectively. Information handling has changed dramatically, but until recently the final effectors (metal beams and electric motors) have not. Nature will become an increasingly more useful teacher as human technology takes on more of the characteristics of nature. The design of artificial life will require unprecedented interdisciplinary integration.

Keywords

Surf Zone Design Idea Dielectric Elastomer Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Evolutionary Robotic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Full
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Integrative BiologyUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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