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Biomimetics: process, tools and practice
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, vol. 12, no. 1
Biomimetics applies principles and strategies abstracted from biological systems to engineering and technological design. With a huge potential for innovation, biomimetics could evolve into a key process in businesses. Yet challenges remain within the process of biomimetics, especially from the perspective of potential users. We work to clarify the understanding of the process of biomimetics. Therefore, we briefly summarize the terminology of biomimetics and bioinspiration. The implementation of biomimetics requires a stated process. Therefore, we present a model of the problem-driven process of biomimetics that can be used for problem-solving activity. The process of biomimetics can be facilitated by existing tools and creative methods. We mapped a set of tools to the biomimetic process model and set up assessment sheets to evaluate the theoretical and practical value of these tools. We analyzed the tools in interdisciplinary research workshops and present the characteristics of the tools. We also present the attempt of a utility tree which, once finalized, could be used to guide users through the process by choosing appropriate tools respective to their own expertize. The aim of this paper is to foster the dialogue and facilitate a closer collaboration within the field of biomimetics.