The 5th international conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems was held this year at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh between 19th and 22nd of July 2016. Ruben Kruiper of cohort 2 attended Living Machines 2016 and presented a paper titled: Computer-Aided Biomimetics (link). The paper introduces what is understood by a biomimetics process from a design engineering perspective and proposes several guidelines to partially automate this process. During the talk, one of these guidelines was further elaborated and the concept of ‘function’ in biology was addressed. This subject opened up an interesting discussion that revealed the opposing views of biologists and engineers to this concept, as well as intentionality and sustainability.

The 19th was filled with workshops that revolved amongst others around bio-inspired architecture, robots that adapt their morphology to the environment and the societal, economic and ecological impact of biohybrid technologies. The other days of the single-track conference were filled with plenary talks and poster sessions, as well as a diverse range of keynote talks by: Barbara Webb, Thomas Speck, Antonio Bicchi, Frank Hirth and Yoshihiko Nakamura.

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