From Big Medical Encyclopedia

BIONICS (Greek bios life + a [electro] nickname) — the science studying possibilities of technical use of the management information and konstruktsionnoenergetichesky principles realized in live organisms. B.'s emergence was promoted in many respects by emergence of the special requirements imposed by new areas of the equipment (space-rocket, aviation, medical instrument making, electronic mechanical engineering, the COMPUTER, etc.) to the tiny equipment and a set of details which shall have the minimum sizes (volume), weight (weight) and energy consumption at a maximum of reliability. Many principles and designs of both a complete organism, and separate bodies, fabrics, cells and, at last, biomolecules meet such requirements, B. holds boundary position between medicobiological and technical science. Scientific biol, the experimental and theoretical bases of such sciences as physiology, especially physiology of higher nervous activity, neuromuscular physiology, sensory physiology form base B.; anatomy and histology, especially morphology of the central and peripheral nervous system, conduction paths; biophysics, especially biophysics of excitement, bio-energetics, biomechanics, and also biochemistry, zoology, botany, general biology and cybernetics. The technical cybernetics, molecular physics and solid state physics, radio electronics, microelectronics, mechanics, hydraulics, the theory of automatic control form physics and technology scientific base B. The term «bionics» was offered by D. Still in 1958. As sciences refer official emergence of B. to the end of 1960 when in Dighton (USA) the first symposium on bionics which passed under the slogan took place: «live prototypes — a key to the new equipment».

Already by the beginning of 1964 only but one of the problems which entered a circle of problems of new science — to modeling of processes recognitions of images (see) — more than 500 works were published.

B.'s emergence is inseparably linked with emergence of the new ideas about a community of management processes in the cars, live organisms and society which arose in science about management in the forties of our century and registered as a result of N. Winer's works in the form of new science about managements and communication — cybernetics (see). Such approach had a certain value both for the equipment, and for medical and biol, sciences and attracted to itself not only engineers and mathematicians, but also biologists. Two recent scientific trends resulted: 1) biological cybernetics, the purpose cover — to study management information processes in live organisms, using methods of cybernetics, and 2) bionics, the purpose cover — to study possibilities of use of information and power properties biol, objects, including designs and schemes of bioinformation systems in the equipment, for the purpose of improvement existing or creations of new, more perfect technical systems.

In the majority of the leading researches biocybernetic and bionic approaches are usually so closely connected that consideration of each of them separately loses meaning, and they act as continuous parts of a certain uniform process of knowledge, in Krom bionic approach arises as result of a certain progress of biocybernetic approach.

In turn success of biocybernetic approach, napr, a method of «a black box», is often caused by bionic, i.e. constructional and power technically intelligent problem definition regarding implementation of the general hypotheses of cybernetics.

The main directions of bionics

Properties of biological systems (see. Biological system ) are of interest to the equipment. First, in respect of loan of management information ways of live organisms at reactions to changes of the environment, for development of the relevant behavioural acts which are the response to these changes. Secondly, in respect of loan of structural and mechanical characteristics biol, systems. Thirdly, use of the chemical and power processes happening to high efficiency in these systems is of interest. The first aspect of interest to biol, to systems opens new opportunities in research and technical implementation of the new principles and devices of processing of information, creation of new elements of systems of automatic equipment and computers; the second — in development of new types of designs of the technical devices connected by designs and with mechanical movements; the third — in development of new technological processes and devices of chemical production and development of new methods of transformation of chemical energy in electric.

It is known that ability of live organisms it is very flexible to react to changes of the environment it is connected with activity of analyzers — visual, acoustical, olfactory, tactile, flavoring. Many tasks which are successfully solved by analyzers of live organisms, napr reading hand-written texts and perception of the speech by the person, very thin recognition of signals which different types of live organisms exchange among themselves etc. still are still far from the decision them by means of technical devices.

One of mysterious features of many birds, fishes and marine animals are their very perfect navigation abilities. At seasonal migrations these animals overcome huge distances, with high, so far inexplicable accuracy finding former habitals. The principles of receiving and processing of information in their navigation «devices», undoubtedly, are of interest to the equipment.

Passive and active analyzers (locators) which are available for dolphins, whales, bats, some bird species, butterflies and other animals are very perfect. For orientation in space bats radiate short impulses of ultrasonic frequency and make assessment of time of return of an echo. Locators of bats are so perfect that they surely maneuver in the dark between ranks of the tense wire and other obstacles. The numerous experiments made with bats show that in that case when in the course of an active lidaring the mass of bats at the same time lets out «cries» (ultrasonic signals), these signals, apparently, do not muffle each other, and ultrasonic noise of significant force almost does not influence their behavior. These properties of natural locators can help with a solution of the problem of elimination of noise signals (both natural, and artificially created), during the designing of new types of technical locators.

Some breeds of fishes living in conditions of total absence of visibility find production and are guided in space by means of an electrical system, edges are represented in essence by a locator of special type. The slope creates electric field around the body, a cut changes at its movement in space. On the changes of this field perceived by special receptors, fish is guided and has an opportunity to find and pursue production. The research of such electric locator will allow to develop new analizatorny devices, napr, for protection against submarines, their orientation under water.

Some animals have ability in advance to feel approach of changes of the environment, dangerous to them. So, jellyfishes in several hours have a presentiment of approach of a storm, separate species of fish have a presentiment of an earthquake. Studying of these properties of animals will help to create the devices performing similar functions.

Biological systems have a large number of various sensors analyzers — converters of energy of external stimuluses (thermal, light, mechanical) in energy of nervous impulses. On diminutiveness. and sensitivity these analyzers still far surpass the technical analogs. So, the bodies located on legs of some insects allow to catch shifts in shares of micron. Thermal receptors of a rattlesnake register change of temperature on 0,001 °. In biol, systems there are also sensors of essentially new type, such as the sensors of flavoring and olfactory signals capable to catch single molecules. The olfactory device of an eel, e.g., is capable to catch presence of the single molecules of alcohol which are not determined by highly sensitive methods of chemical analysis.

Technical management information systems and often on speed surpass in sensitivity biol, systems, but concede to the last on dimensions, the power consumption and reliability. One neuron occupies volume 10 - 8 — 10 - 7 cm 3 , the volume of a brain of the person makes only 1000 cm 3 , the brain consumes power apprx. 20 W and works, without failing, on average apprx. 585 thousand hour.

The power consumed by modern computers makes tens of kilowatts, and the term of no-failure operation of the most high-quality equipment is estimated only in hundreds of hours. Even if to be guided by the most progressive developments providing volume density 10 3 — 10 4 elements in 1 cm 3 and consumption of energy of 1 MW / the element, and in this case volume density and profitability biol, systems will be higher on several orders. It allows to hope for development of the new principles of further miniaturization of the equipment of control systems and computers.

The listed properties of live organisms make an object of research information analizatornogo the directions of bionics.

The second aspect of B. is studying of opportunities of technical use of structure and designs biol, systems, studying of the mechanical, power and chemical processes happening in them.

In the building console constructions mastered by the person, the relation of height to the largest diameter does not surpass 20 — 30, at the same time in the nature there are designs at which this relation much higher than 30 (a trunk of an eucalyptus, a palm tree, etc.).

Studying of designs of a trunk of fishes and marine animals in respect of hydrodynamic mechanisms of their movement in water can give a lot of useful to shipbuilding. Fishes and marine animals very economically spend energy and at the same time are capable to gather high speeds. So, the speed of a dolphin reaches 12 — 16 m/s, the speed of flying fishes — 18 m/s (i.e. 65 km/h that is equal to the speed of the express train), and the speed of a tuna — more than 30 m/s.

The third important aspect of B. is studying biochemical, the processes happening in wildlife from the point of view of efficiency which can serve as a sample for development of new technological processes. In this aspect researches of features of processes of a heatmass exchange and thermodynamics of live organisms of populations and communities just begin. It is possible to give the processes of photosynthesis, synthesis which are carried out by plants and microorganisms with high efficiency as an example acetic to - you, production of complete protein, the processing of wood in fats and proteins which is carried out by microorganisms in intestines of termites, etc. Interesting problems are also studying of mechanisms of work of biochemical sources of the electric power; a research of biochemical, and biopower processes in relation to technology of processes and devices in chemical mechanical engineering.

All three considered B.'s aspects show as far as ample opportunities of statement of bionic researches.

The direction of a research of the information analyzing devices of bioobjects, a cut develops in a crust, time most intensively, is subdivided in turn into a number of the independent directions which subject is made:

— the general patterns of ways and devices of processing of information in a nervous system; here belong modeling of processes in neuron, a research of methods of coding of information at the different levels, a research of models of neural networks;

— information ways and devices in bioanalyzers and processes of recognition of images; here researches of mechanisms of work of receptors, creation of models of various analizatorny systems and development on their basis of algorithms of recognition of images, a research of ways of coding at exchange of information between live organisms belong. Besides, mechanisms of training and adaptation, memory, ensuring reliability, compensatory functions of live organisms, and also the mechanisms managing regeneration of bodies in respect of creation of the self-repairing technical devices are of interest to the equipment;

— the systems of regulation managing activity of separate autonomous subsystems of the higher organisms which represent separate homeostatic contours, e.g. the blood circulatory system, system of breath, oculomotor system, taking into account features of the realized principle of hierarchy in biol, the systems giving great opportunities for loan in technical developments.

It should be noted that success of bionic researches cannot be provided at simple mechanical transferring to technology of the schemes developed by the nature.

It is possible to find many examples of decisions and properties of live organisms in the nature, absolutely unsatisfactory to the technician. It is enough to mention only that normal life activity biol, systems is possible in narrow limits of temperature (0 — 70 °) and pressure (0,7 — 3 kg/cm 2 ), and speed of elements of a nervous system is much lower than speed of technical elements. Time necessary for transfer of neuron from an unexcited state in excited, makes 10 - 2 — 10 - 1 sec. whereas for technical elements it reaches 10 - 7 — 10 - 8 sec. Owing to this fact the main attention is paid to studying and development of the principles of work of elements and systems of live organisms that will allow due to implementation of these principles on elements of other physical nature to receive systems more perfect, than those which are created in the course of evolution in live organisms.

Methods of a research of bionics. At the heart of the majority of bionic and biocybernetic researches, especially at the heart of their information direction, the method of modeling lies. The term «model in bionics» is quite often treated very widely — from physical. the device reproducing functions of the modelled object and mathematical model (or programs on the COMPUTER), to the sum of the logical representations describing an object i.e. the coordinated system of the facts and hypotheses of essence of the studied system (see Modelling).

Modeling of mechanisms of work of these or those departments biol, systems usually breaks into stages: at the first stage studying, systematization and comparison existing fiziol, data — results morfol is carried out., elektrofiziol. and psikhofiziol, researches and receiving in case of need new data on an object. At the second stage — development on the basis of the carried-out analysis fiziol, data of a cybernetic hypothesis of work investigated biol, systems i.e. such hypothesis, edge includes a wide complex of the technical and mathematical data used by modern science about management; at last, at the last stage check of the developed hypothesis is carried out, edges it can be made in two directions: first, by means of calculations on computers, physical or mathematical, secondly, check of compliance of a hypothesis of objective reality by means of fiziol. experiment.

Modeling biol, systems in cybernetics and B. can be carried out by means of various methods. In the generalized methods of cybernetics important for B., the task to receive the algorithm describing work of the modelled object is set and similarity of structure of model to structure of an object is not required. This method represents a method of functional modeling, or a method of «a black box». The method functional modeling is based on psychophysiological and behavioural data on an object. In relation to B.'s problems the method of «a black box» allows to obtain a number of the important data allowing to choose this or that biol, the principle of creation of technical system (discrete, analog). In a diskretnostrukturny method, other, not less important for B., the principles and essence of management information neural mechanisms of this or that department of a brain are modelled. In this case it is required to find out both discrete structure of the modelled object, and the nature of interrelations between its elements (sets). Unlike the first method, this method uses a complex fiziol, the data obtained by psychophysiologists, morphologists and electrophysiologists.

The main results of bionics

One of the first results of B. implemented in the equipment in the field of loan of the principles of bioanalyzers was development of the gyrotron — the device used instead of a gyroscope to stabilization of aircraft. Studying of some insects (butterflies, bugs) showed that they have club-shaped short moustaches which during flight fluctuate in the horizontal plane. At a deviation of a body of an insect the ends of short moustaches continue to fluctuate in the same plane that causes the mechanical tension influencing the nervous cells which are here in the basis of short moustaches. From them signals on nerve fibrils come to the central parts of the nervous system which develop the corresponding response signals for management of the body organs of an insect redeeming the correct situation it in flight. The principle of work of this bioanalnzator is applied in the technical device — the gyrotron representing a tuning fork, legs to-rogo are set in oscillating motion by the electromagnet fed by alternating current. At turn of the holder, on Krom the tuning fork is strengthened, the basis of legs has a mechanical moment. The sensor reacting to it sends the signal proportional to a tilt angle of the holder. Gyrotrons are used in aircraft, further work on their improvement is conducted: to increase in sensitivity, endurance, reduction of dimensions.

Other example is creation of the measuring instrument of terrestrial speed for the airplane using the principle of work of a facet eye of insects (bee). The device consists of the receivers located at the basis of two tubes divorced on the set corner in the vertical plane. Fixing of a certain point of the land surface at first in one, then in other receiver is made for determination of speed of the airplane concerning the earth. Knowing a time term between emergence of the chosen point in the first and in the second receivers and height of the airplane over the Earth's surface, it is easy to determine speed.

Overseeing by behavior of bees allowed to make the hypothesis of orientation of some bird species and insects on the polarized radiation of the sun using the fact that the light rays arriving from the sun are polarized differently at an arrangement of the sun at various height over the horizon. These researches led to creation of the solar compass giving the chance to be guided but to the sun with cloudiness. A number of the devices necessary for devices of homing and a location is offered as a result of studying of mechanisms of functioning of an eye of a frog. On the basis of a research of properties of some marine organisms to catch infrasounds devices for the alarm system about approach of a storm are constructed.

Application in the equipment was found by also constructional and power principles borrowed bioobjects. So, use of forms of contours of cetacea for construction of the ships allowed to receive a prize in the power of power plants to 40%. Other example is the way of movement of penguins on snow, it is used for construction of the new all-terrain vehicle for polar areas.

Interesting result is the attempt of use of some species of microorganisms for creation of electric sources of current.

The most essential results of information direction B. consist, first, in development of models of single nervous cells, models of sites of neural networks and the whole parts of the nervous system — of analyzers and, secondly, in development on the basis of these models of the studying cars and algorithms for recognition of images. Several cells of models of the neurons differing by quantity and complexity of the reproduced properties of neuron are developed. Some developments represent in essence the difficult adaptive elements of new type created on the basis of ideas of neuron and are intended for creation of the distinguishing students of devices. Success achieved during the development of models of analizatorny departments of a brain is connected with the formulation of the principle of lateral brake interaction, known in physiology, between elements of projective parts of the nervous system and development of the theory of detectors as main mechanism of operation of analyzers. According to this theory process of perception of this or that irritant is result of allocation of some simple signs of this irritant by means of a set of specially organized ensembles of neurons — detectors. E.g., in the analysis of the visual image detectors of border of dark and light sites, detectors of curvature, detectors of straight lines of a certain direction, detectors of decussation of straight lines, etc. are found. During evolution animals of function of detectors become complicated, have detectors of the movement with a certain speed, detectors of the movement in a certain direction. On the basis of the theory of detectors the model ideas of operation of visual and acoustical analyzers explaining a number of properties acoustical and vision are developed.

The distinguishing and studying devices created on the basis of bionic researches, of course, still are very imperfect, and their creation shall be considered as the first steps in this area. Nevertheless devices for recognition of the elementary drawings, for recognition of a limited mere verbiage are already created (apprx. 300), adaptive autopilots and the self-adjusted filters are developed for allocation against the background of noise of a signal of any form. Creation of perfect students of the distinguishing devices will be of great importance not only for the equipment, but also for biology and medicine and especially for medical equipment, biotelemetry, biophysics.

Such devices will find application in cytology, histology, microbiology, a radiology and other fields of biology and medicine.

In the mid-seventies in connection with development of technology of OKG (see. Optical quantum generator ) and development holography (see) review of a role of cybernetics and B. in development of the technical information analyzing systems is observed.

Research establishments in which researches on bionics are conducted: The USSR — the state universities: Dnipropetrovsk, Vilnius, Rostov, Leningrad, Moscow; institutes of biophysics (Moscow), problems of management (Moscow), a brain (Moscow), radio electronics (Kharkiv), cybernetics (Kiev), automatic equipment and elektrometriya FROM Academy of Sciences of the USSR; The USA — universities: Stanfordsky, Harvard, Colombian, Illinoyssky, Californian; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; England — universities: Birmingham, Celtic, Cambridge; Germany — the Max Planck Institute; GDR — the Higher technical school (Ilmenau), Institute of cybernetics and information processes; Poland — Institute of applied cybernetics, Polytechnical institute (Warsaw); Bulgaria — Institute of technical cybernetics; Czechoslovakia — Institute of the theory of information and automation. Works on B. are discussed at regularly convened conferences. To the USSR are carried out: all-Union conferences on bionics (Moscow), all-Union conferences on neurocybernetics (Rostov-on-Don); in the USA: national symposiums on bionics; in Germany: the congresses on cybernetics; international congresses: on cybernetics (Namur), but medical cybernetics (Amsterdam), on biological cybernetics (Leipzig), on automatic control (IFAK).

The standard training programs for training of specialists in the area B. do not exist, however in a number of universities and higher education institutions special courses are organized and student's researches are carried out. The Dnipropetrovsk, Vilnius, Rostov, Leningrad, Moscow universities treat their number; Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 1st Moscow medical institute, Leningrad polytechnical institute.

Bibliography: Bionics, under the editorship of A. I. Berg, etc., M., 1965; Bionics, Bibliographic index of domestic and foreign literature of 1958 — 1968, sost. T. N. Anisimova, M., 1971; Bongard M. M. Problem of recognition, M., 1967; Winer N. Cybernetics and society, the lane with English, M., 1958; Glezer V. D. Mechanisms of an identification of visual objects, M. — L., 1966, bibliogr.; Deych S. of Model of a nervous system, the lane with English, M., 1970, bibliogr.; Zherarden L. Bionics, the lane with fr., M., 1971; Mylae bags of. The analysis of biological control systems, the lane with English, M., 1968, bibliogr.; P about z and N. V N. Modeling of neural structures, M., 1970, bibliogr.

I. A. Lyubinsky.