Biomorphic robotics

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For the art movement, see biomorphism.

Biomorphic robotics is a sub-discipline of robotics focused upon emulating the mechanics, sensor systems, computing structures and methodologies used by animals. In short, it is building robots inspired by the principles of biological systems.

One of the most prominent researchers in the field of biomorphic robotics has been Mark W. Tilden, who has taken Rodney Brooks' theory of removing the world model from robots to a low hardware level not even using microprocessors. This is not to say the lack of microprocessors makes something biomorphic - quite the contrary. There is a huge amount of work be done implementing biological nervous and neural networks into computing devices.

In contrast M. Anthony Lewis has used the field of biomorphic robots to study how humans and animals use "biologically inspired principles" to negotiate the complexities of the real world.

The difference between neuromorphics and biomorphics is believed to be that neuromorphics focuses on analogue control and sensor systems as opposed to biomorphics trying to implement biological methods on the whole system.

An excellent example of a biomorphic machine is the robot snake.

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  • One of the more prolific annual Biomorphic conferences is at the Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop. These academics meet from all around the world to share their research in what they call a field of engineering that is based on the design and fabrication of artificial neural systems, such as vision chips, head-eye systems, and roving robots, whose architecture and design principles are based on those of biological nervous systems.