A Handbook of Research in Biomimetics and Biohybrid Systems
Author: Tony J. Prescott,Nathan Lepora,Paul F. M. J. Verschure
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Contemporary research in the field of robotics attempts to harness the versatility and sustainability of living organisms. By exploiting those natural principles, scientists hope to render a renewable, adaptable, and robust class of technology that can facilitate self-repairing, social, and moral--even conscious--machines. This is the realm of robotics that scientists call "the living machine." Living Machines can be divided into two entities-biomimetic systems, those that harness the principles discovered in nature and embody them in new artifacts, and biohybrid systems, which couple biological entities with synthetic ones. Living Machines: A handbook of research in biomimetic and biohybrid systems surveys this flourishing area of research. It captures the current state of play and points to the opportunities ahead, addressing such fields as self-organization and co-operativity, biologically-inspired active materials, self-assembly and self-repair, learning, memory, control architectures and self-regulation, locomotion in air, on land or in water, perception, cognition, control, and communication. In all of these areas, the potential of biomimetics is shown through the construction of a wide range of different biomimetic devices and animal-like robots. Biohybrid systems is a relatively new field, with exciting and largely unknown potential, but one that is likely to shape the future of humanity. Chapters outline current research in areas including brain-machine interfaces-where neurons are connected to microscopic sensors and actuators-and various forms of intelligent prostheses from sensory devices like artificial retinas, to life-like artificial limbs, brain implants, and virtual reality-based rehabilitation approaches. The handbook concludes by exploring the impact living machine technology will have on both society and the individual, by forcing human beings to question how we see and understand ourselves. With contributions from leading researchers drawing on ideas from science, engineering, and the humanities, this handbook will appeal to both undergraduate and postgraduate students of biomimetic and biohybrid technologies. Researchers in the areas of computational modeling and engineering, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, artificial life, biorobotics, neurorobotics, and human-machine interfaces, will find Living Machines an invaluable resource.