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Research Papers

Developing Engineering Products Using Inspiration From Nature

[+] Author and Article Information
Prabir Sarkar, S. Phaneendra

Innovation, Design Study and Sustainability Laboratory (IDeaS Lab), Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, Karnataka, India

Amaresh Chakrabarti1

Innovation, Design Study and Sustainability Laboratory (IDeaS Lab), Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, Karnataka, Indiaac123@cpdm.iisc.ernet.in

1

Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 8(3), 031001 (Aug 05, 2008) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2956995 History: Received September 27, 2006; Revised June 02, 2008; Published August 05, 2008

Nature can be a major source of inspiration for engineering designers. Biomimicry is often used in specific cases to develop solutions that mimic natural systems. However, knowledge of natural systems is still not used systematically and commonly for inspiring innovative product development, from ideation of solutions to their implementation as products. In ideation, potential solutions to a design problem are generated. To support ideation, two databases are developed with entries having information about natural and artificial systems. A novel generic causal model is developed for structuring information of how these systems achieve their behavior. Three algorithms are developed for analogical search of entries that could inspire ideation of solutions to a given problem. In realization, evaluation and modification of these solutions are carried out by experimenting with these in virtual and physical forms and environments.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

The SAPPhIRE model of causality

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Figure 2

Some of the initial concepts that the designers generated while solving Problems 1 (left) 2 (right)

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Figure 10

Solar array deployment (left) and deployed condition in intended situation (right)

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Figure 11

An entry from the database

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Figure 9

Solar array deployment (left) and deployed condition in intended situation (right)

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Figure 8

Use of different systems of an all terrain vehicle

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Figure 7

An all terrain vehicle

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Figure 6

Some of the initial intended systems

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Figure 5

Japanese fan as a source of inspiration (left); simulation and physical model of deployment (right)

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Figure 4

Frogs hind legs and Bat’s wings as sources of inspiration for a foldable mechanism (top left); simulation of deployment folding mechanism (top right); physical model and sequence of operations (bottom)

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Figure 3

An entry of a bee as the source of inspiration (left). Simulation of the intended vehicle moving forward, colliding with the obstacle, retracting after collision, and taking a left turn to avoid the obstacle (top right). Physical modeling of how it avoids an obstacle (bottom right).

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