Innovation explains: Bionics

What is bionics? Bionics is the construction of artificial, partly technical systems modelled on nature. Bionics imitates special motion sequences or processes that can be observed in other living organisms or plants and combines them with technological possibilities. Especially in robotics, animals such as the elephant or octopus serve as models for many groundbreaking innovations in gripping technology.

Cybernetics and bionics are often compared, as both draw ideas from the observation of living systems, but cybernetics specialises in explaining the behaviour of living beings.

The imitation of nature is nothing new. The methods that bionics uses existed many centuries ago. An obvious decision, because some living beings can look back on billions of years of evolution in order to optimally adapt to their environment or certain situations. The use in bionics can therefore help to better understand certain principles and to develop machines that adapt optimally to their environment.

However, bionics engineers not only copy nature, they also improve it. Following the example of living systems, they look for technical equivalents that can be optimised by observing animal or plant systems.


Bionics in practice

Some examples of the efficiency of bionics can be found in the current innovation landscape. Particularly in Germany, some companies have specialised in this field and developed their own innovation methods.


5 Amazing BIONIC ROBOTS with Artificial Intelligence (Source: Festo Robotics)


The results of the bionics include superhydrophobic surfaces oriented towards the lotus leaf, new folding processes for the folding mechanism inspired by the bird of paradise flower, flexible robots oriented towards the muscles of some animals and much more.

Especially for the optimization of processes and materials there is an almost infinite source of ideas in nature. Despite some innovation breakthroughs, bionics is still at the very beginning and will bring some great new inventions and ideas onto the market in the next few years.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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