bionics, the study of living systems with the intention of applying their principles to the design of engineering systems. Drawing on interdisciplinary research in the mechanical and life sciences, bionics has been used to develop audiovisual equipment based on human eye and ear function, to design air and naval craft patterned after the biological structure of birds and fish, and to incorporate principles of the human neurological system in data-processing systems. Another application has been the development of experimental artificial limbs that can be controlled by a person's thoughts and retinal implants consisting of an electrode array that receives visual data from an external camera.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.