There is a symbiosis between nature and engineering which, although not immediately obvious, nonetheless has considerable practical value. It is difficult to trace the origins of this approach, since man has looked to nature for inspiration for more than 3000 years (when the Chinese hankered after an artificial silk). In modem times, the word "bionics" was coined by Jack Steele of the US Air Force in 1958 and confirmed two years later at a meeting at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He defined bionics as the science of systems whose function is based on living systems or which have characteristics of, or resemble, living systems or their analogues. 


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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(98)80002-3