Project: Create and present original bioinspired design projects

Bioinspired design views the process of how we learn from Nature as an innovation strategy translating principles of function, performance and aesthetics from biology to human technology. The creative design process is driven by interdisciplinary exchange among engineering, biology, medicine, art, architecture and business. If you like learning weird facts about nature and want to boost your creativity, this is the course for you!
Student teams will have in-person labs to collaboratively create and present original bioinspired design projects. Lectures can be attended remotely and will address the bioinspired design process from original scientific breakthroughs to functional prototypes using cases studies that include gecko-inspired adhesives, cockroach-inspired robots, artificial muscles, computer animation, and prosthetics while highlighting health, the environment, and safety. For the final project, students will use the bioinspired design approach, technical communication skills, and mechanical engineering skills learned in experiential learning labs to form a “startup company” and pitch a new BioDesign to “investors” in a Design Showcase. 
Students will participate in four experiential learning labs:
1. Optimizing legged robot design for acrobatics
2. Designing soft actuators for safe biological interaction
3. Creating new products that leverage dry frictional adhesives
4. Building a bio-inspired prosthetic device