The development of future real-world technologies will depend strongly on our understanding and harnessing of the principles underlying living systems and the flow of communication signals between living and artificial systems. Biomimetics is the development of novel technologies through the distillation of principles from the study of biological systems. Biohybrid systems are formed by combining at least one biological component and at least one artificial, newly-engineered component. Bypassing information in one or both directions, such a system forms a new hybrid bio-artificial entity. The conference theme also encompasses biomimetic methods for manufacture, repair, and recycling inspired by natural processes such as reproduction, digestion, morphogenesis, and metamorphosis.
Living Machines activities include a wide range of topics:
• Biomimetic robots and their component technologies that can intelligently interact with their environments.
• Biomimetic computers—neuromimetic emulations of the physiological basis of intelligent behaviour.
• Active biomimetic materials and structures that self-organize and self-repair or show other bio-inspired functions.
• Artificial organs and intelligent prostheses.
• Organism-level biohybrids
• Control principles for embodied perception, cognition, and action.
• Synthetic biology and synthetic consciousness based on biomimetics.
The investigation of biomimetic and biohybrid systems can serve two complementary goals. First, a suitably designed and configured biomimetic and biohybrid artefact can be used to test theories about the natural system of interest. Second, biomimetic and biohybrid technologies can provide useful, elegant, and efficient solutions to unsolved challenges in science and engineering.
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As this special edition features the 10 years of Living Machines, plenary speakers will highlight the relevant contributions to the fields of biomimetics and biohybrid systems and help to address two main questions.
Active researchers in biomimetic and biohybrid systems are invited to participate in full or half-day workshops on Living Machines related themes.