Innovation through imitation: biomimetic, bioinspired and biokleptic research
While biomimetic research is becoming increasingly popular the term is being used for a broader range of research and it is becoming more difficult for researchers to understand and define. In this opinion article we discuss how biomimetic research overlaps with and differs from the complementary fields of biotechnology, biokleptic and bioinspired research as we attempt to describe each area with definitions, examples and discussion. What makes research biomimetic, bioinspired or biokleptic is put under scrutiny as we ask: can different components, parts and processes of an experiment be categorised separately? What is the difference between a biological and synthetic system/component? Is the scientist or biology in control? The answers to which aim to untangle the subtleties of the biomimetics field.