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Is technology inspired by nature the future of defence?

Could animal-inspired robotics provide the winning edge in the 21st Century?

What are animal biomechanics?

As Dr Evil, the antagonist in the Austin Powers film series, said: “you know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.” While this parody of a Bond villain might not be the obvious inspiration for a creative innovator, the maritime world has a lot it can learn from nature.

The study of animal biomechanics involves the creation of robotics that have been inspired by the natural world. From the efficient propulsion of jellyfish to examining how fish form and manoeuvre as a shoal, there is no distinction between hardware and software in nature; it’s all interconnected.

This project is about exploring the art of the possible. From real-world spidey senses that detect and process information essential to survival, to fully autonomous bio-inspired underwater drones. The question that NavyX is seeking to answer is what can we learn from millions of years of evolution?

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Is technology inspired by nature the future of defence?

BattleLab is the very first UK incubator for ideas, advanced engineering and solutions geared toward solving military problems. This project entails exploring the possibilities and potential of technology inspired by nature and is going to be run through the new Defence BattleLab.

BattleLab, based in Dorset, seeks to enable the creative collisions of people, bringing the right minds together to solve ongoing issues and emerging threats. Chief Petty Officer Tom Welham says, “The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. NavyX wants to challenge their blind spots, and redefine the problem space by diversifying those who collaborate within it, and BattleLab is the perfect location.”

Do you want to help shape the vision and direction of this novel project? NavyX wants you to pitch your research, concept or solution that could enable smarter, faster, more efficient or stealthy solutions inspired by the living world.

To find out more about this initiative
visit the Government Sourcing Portal here