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A machine that is patterned after principles found in humans or nature; for example, robots. It also refers to artificial devices implanted into humans replacing or extending normal human functions. See biomimicry.


Imitating nature in man-made systems. One of the most notable examples is the Eastgate Center in Harare, Zimbabwe, a shopping center built in 1996 that was constructed using principles discovered in termite mounds in the desert. The termites maintain an almost perfectly uniform temperature for their food inside, even though outside temperatures range from near freezing at night to over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the day. The even temperature is accomplished by continuously opening and closing a series of vents throughout the day. The Eastgate Center uses 10% of the energy of a traditional building to keep cool. See bionic.

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