Bio-Inspired Autonomic Structures
Through the evolution of millions of years, nature has developed fascinating biosensors, bioactuators, and bio-network systems with ability to transfer data through information processing channels, and extracting useful information from data. Thus, nature has become a source of inspiration for many engineered systems. One such system is civil infrastructure. Globally, civil infrastructures are deteriorating at an alarming rate caused by overuse, overloading, aging, damage or failure due to natural or man-made hazards. With such a vast network of deteriorating infrastructure, there is a growing interest in continuous monitoring technologies. In order to provide a true distributed sensor and control system for civil structures, we are developing a Structural Nervous System that mimics key attributes of a human nervous system. This nervous system is made up of building blocks that are designed based on mechanoreceptors as a fundamentally new approach for the development of a structural health monitoring and diagnostic system that utilizes the recently developed piezo-fibers capable of sensing and actuation. In particular, our research has been focused on producing a sensory nervous system for civil structures by using piezo-fibers as sensory receptors, nerve fibers, neuronal pools, and spinocervical tract to the nodal and central processing units. This paper presents up to date results of our research, including the design and analysis of the structural nervous system.
Pietro VINCENZINI and Fabio CASCIATI
R. A. Shoureshi and S. W. Lim, "Bio-Inspired Autonomic Structures", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 56, pp. 32-44, 2008