Monday, January 14, 2013

Bionic Engineering for Process Description

image photo : World in robohand  Bionics, according to Wikipedia, is “the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology.” Many of the innovations being developed today seem to be the stuff of science fictions films, and so many areas of engineering are involved that the topic would be of interest to any engineering student.

On the National Geographic website there is an article about Bionics, focusing primarily on advances in a bionic arm, cochlear implants and bionic eyes.

In addition to the article, there is a link to an interactive diagram “The Bionic Body”:

The interactive diagram allows a user to move the mouse over parts of the body and read the explanation of how the bionic part works. This is a particularly good example of Process Description. Here’s an example from the section “New Vision”:

1)      Video Camera sends images to a computer worn on a belt. The computer converts the video to a simplified signal.

2)      Transmitter sends the signal wirelessly to an implant in the eye.

3)      Receiver sends the signal to the electrode array to stimulate the retina.

4)      Optic Nerve carries the signal from retina to brain, which perceives visual patterns corresponding to the electrodes stimulated.

The structure of the description and the word partnerships used can be applied to a description of other bionic devices (with relevant technical vocabulary).

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