During the 1950s, Otto Schmitt coined the term biomimetics to describe
an electronic feedback circuit he designed to function in a similar way to neural networks. This invention later became known as the Schmitt Trigger. Over the coming years several synonyms such as bionics, biomimesis, biomimicry, biognosis propped up in various parts of the world to describe developments inspired by the functional aspects of biological structures.
Biomimetics is a compound word of Greek origin: bio- meaning life and – mimesis meaning to copy: the outcome is the interpolation of natural mechanisms and structures into engineering design. The cross-disciplinary nature of the field has established a platform for technology transfer. Biomimetic studies effectively serve as vehicles to migrate ideas inspired by biology into practical solutions to everyday problems. Famous examples include VELCRO (inspired by the effect of burrs of burdock attaching to a dog´s fur after walks in the forest) and LOTUSAN (inspired by the self-cleaning properties of lotus leaves)
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Smart Fabrics and Interactive Textiles (SFITs) are defined as having an in-built ability to respond to external stimuli, including electrical, mechanical, thermal, chemical or magnetic.
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