From Discover Magazine:
Biomimicry, imitating nature’s designs and processes to create products for humans, has been heralded as key to creating our sustainable future. Innovations such as self-cleaning paint based on lotus leaves, swimsuits made like sharkskin, and wind turbines in the likeness of whale flippers have all been inspired by parts of nature. But why stop there? A number of developers are capturing the movement and grace of entire animals, giving us robots that crawl, walk, and swim just like their biological counterparts. If this research one day spawns an uncomplaining robotic mule to carry our physical burdens or dogs that can save children from fiery buildings without fear of harm, man’s best friend may also be humanity’s own invention.