Humans have long been inspired to imitate the capabilities of biological systems. Documented attempts to use nature as a model for technology go as far back as Leonardo da Vinci, who examined the physiology of fish and birds in his designs for ships and airplanes. What we now call biomimetics has resulted in the invention of sonar (from bat echolocation), Velcro (from burrs) and structural innovations that allowed for the construction of the Crystal Palace and the Eiffel Tower. With the development of nanotechnology and computer simulation, Biomimetics promises to generate unprecedented technological and scientific breakthroughs.
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