The course Bio-Inspired Design gives an overview of non-conventional mechanical approaches in nature and shows how this knowledge can lead to more creativity in mechanical design and to better (simpler, smaller, more robust) solutions than with conventional technology. The course discusses a large number of biological organisms with smart constructions, unusual mechanisms or clever sensing and processing methods and presents a number of technical examples and designs of bio-inspired instruments and machines.

Examples of topics:
Strength at low weight, stiffness with soft structures, robustness and redundancy, storing energy in springs, energetically efficient muscle configurations, biological vibration systems, clamping with hands, claws, suction, glue, dry- and wet adhesion, biological walking, swimming, crawling and flying methods, locomotion of micro- and single-celled-organisms, biosensing, simple laws for complex behavior, evolution and engineering of living systems.

Structure of the course:
1. Bioconstruction (how are creatures constructed)
– Mechanical stiffness & motion
– Hydrostatic stiffness & motion
– Bioenergy (biological springs)
2. Biopropulsion (how do creatures move)
– Macroscale: walking, crawling, swimming & flying
– Microscale: propulsion of single-celled organisms
3. Bioclamping (how do creatures grasp)
– General, hands & adhesion
4. Biodevelopment (how do creatures evolve)
– Evolution & engineering of living systems

Creative Commons License
Bio Inspired Design by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at
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