Nature is not afraid of complexity. Her solutions exploit the unpredictable and messy nature of reality. But our technology seems to be very different. Instead of exploiting its environment it is more frequently damaged by that environment. In this article I describe how we can learn from natural systems and create new technologies that exploit natural principles. I describe our investigations into the technologies of the future – devices that can adapt, be fault tolerant, and even assemble themselves. Examples of a self-repairing robot and physical self-assembling systems are shown, and I describe my systemic computer concept which aims to be the first parallel fault tolerant computer that is based on general biological systems. Through examples such as these, I argue that while we may never be able to predict exactly what a natural system may do, that does not prevent such systems from being extremely useful for us – after all, we are unpredictable natural systems ourselves.


Short Path Natural System Systemic Computation Robot Controller Robot Snake 
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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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Bentley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College of LondonLondonUK

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