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Roboticists aim to ape nature: Engineers are thinking in new ways about sensing, chips, and robots as they study dolphins, slugs, and Homo sapiens

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The way in which bionics is affecting research and development in robotics is discussed. It is pointed out that mimicry itself is not the goal; rather, researchers hope that in building artificial analogues to biological systems they will discover principles that will advance both engineering and biology. Most profoundly, bionics is dissolving barriers between the science of the living and the artificial. The result may be the formation of a discipline that, by treating biological and technological systems as being alike in a fundamental way, advances both. The success achieved in a number of research projects is surveyed.

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Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 2 )