Difference Between Bionics and Biomimetics

Key Difference – Bionics vs Biomimetics
 

Bionics and biomimetics are two terms related to biomimicry discipline. Biomimicry is derived from two Greek words; ‘bio’ meaning nature and ‘mimesis’ meaning imitation. This refers to developing a new system to solve human problems by imitating nature  or taking inspiration from a natural design or a process. Bionics and biomimetics are usually regarded as synonyms since they have a similar meaning. However, the key difference between bionics and biomimetics is their origin. The term bionics was first introduced in 1960; this was followed by the term biomimetics, which was introduced in 1969. These two terms are widely used in modern scientific research to build perfect systems that can be matched with natural systems. These words are quite popular especially in the field of material science and nanotechnology. Further details regarding these two terms will be discussed in this article.

What is Bionics?

The term ‘bionics’ first appeared during a US air force symposium in 1960, It was introduced by a person called Jack Steele. Bionics is defined as the development of a modern system or set of functions based on a similar system that exists in nature. The modern system thus represents characteristics of a natural system.

Key Difference -  Bionics vs  Biomimetics

Velcro was inspired by the tiny hooks found on the surface of burs.

What is Biomimetics?

The term ‘biomimetic’ was first introduced by Otto Schmitt in 1969. He defined it as the process of mimicking the formation, structure or function of a biologically produced substance or material in order to produce or synthesize an artificial product. This phenomenon can be applied to structures, mechanisms, processes or functions. Biomimetic development is considered as an innovation engine and becoming popular not only in high-tech industries but also in many traditional industries. According to literature, material development is the largest and most popular area of biomimetic discipline. Many types of research have been done to produce smart materials, surface modifiers, nanocomposites, etc., using biomimicry. Nanotechnology is another area that uses biomimetics as a tool to innovate new applications. Biomimetics has also become a sustainability engine as it helps to generate many sustainable technologies through the study of sustainability from nature. Biomimetics can be roughly classified into three categories; (a) form and function, (b) biocybernetics, sensor technology and robotics, and (c) nano bio mimetics.

Difference Between Bionics and Biomimetics

Biomimicry of Phyllotaxy Towers

What is the difference between Bionics and Biomimetics?

Definition

Bionics: Bionics is the development of a modern system or set of functions based on a similar system that exists in nature.

Biomimetics: Biomimetics is the process of mimicking the formation, structure or function of a biologically produced substance or material in order to produce or synthesize an artificial product.

Origins

Bionics: Bionics was introduced in 1960 by Jack Steele.

Biomimetics: Biomimetics was introduced in 1969 by Otto Schmitt.

References:

Cohen, Y. H., & Reich, Y. (2016). Biomimetic design method for innovation and sustainability. S.l.: Springer.

King, R. S. (2012). Bilbiq: A Biologically Inspired Robot With Walking and Rolling Locomotion. Springer Science & Business Media.
Image Courtesy:
“Klettverschluss” By Ryj – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 
“Biomimetic Morphology of Phyllotaxy Towers” By Saleh Masoumi – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia