Opinions and Outlooks on Morphological Computation

E-Book (2014)
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Abstract
Morphological Computation is based on the observation that biological systems seem to carry out relevant computations with their morphology (physical body) in order to successfully interact with their environments. This can be observed in a whole range of systems and at many different scales. It has been studied in animals – e.g., while running, the functionality of coping with impact and slight unevenness in the ground is "delivered" by the shape of the legs and the damped elasticity of the muscle-tendon system – and plants, but it has also been observed at the cellular and even at the molecular level – as seen, for example, in spontaneous self-assembly. The concept of morphological computation has served as an inspirational resource to build bio-inspired robots, design novel approaches for support systems in health care, implement computation with natural systems, but also in art and architecture. As a consequence, the field is highly interdisciplinary, which is also nicely reflected in the wide range of authors that are featured in this e-book. We have contributions from robotics, mechanical engineering, health, architecture, biology, philosophy, and others.
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