The project is called SABRE (Self-healing cellular Architectures for Biologically-inspired highly Reliable Electronic systems). The part of the project to be carried out in Bristol will be based at Bristol Robotics lab (BRL), which is jointly run by the University of Bristol and UWE.
Increasingly, our lives are intertwined with digital electronic equipment. From gadgets to household appliances, computers, and the life-saving systems which ensure that cars and planes are safe, these devices can be extremely complex and often have hundreds of thousands of components on a single chip. However, if one component fails this commonly causes catastrophic failure of the whole system. Electronic hardware designers have achieved fantastic levels of reliability so far but, as such devices become more and more complex, such instances can only become more common. Under fault conditions it would, therefore, be highly desirable for the system to be able to cope with faults, and continue to operate effectively even if one or more components have failed; but this is not the way electronic systems are currently designed.
Drawing on inspiration from nature, the researchers at York and Bristol will look for ways to create electronic systems based on a structure of ‘cells’ which have the ability to work together to defend system integrity, diagnose faults, and heal themselves. The researchers will be looking at the way complex biological systems, such as the defence mechanism of the human body, are able to deal with faults and still keep functioning.
Dr. Tony Pipe, (Bristol Robotics Laboratory) explains, “When an electronic system malfunctions it should be able to cope with minor faults and continue to operate effectively even if one or more components fail. Currently, those few electronic systems that are designed to be fault-tolerant either replicate whole sub-systems at a high level in the overall architecture (similar to having two lungs), or roll back to a simpler, safer mode when there is a malfunction, but still replicate the whole system or a large part of it in a simplified form. This is a vital function in current safety-critical systems such as anti-lock breaking, fly-by-wire aircraft, space exploration, as well as industrial control and shutdown systems.
“However highly complex living organisms such as the human body are able to deal with malfunctions at a much lower level, that of the cells, defending the system overall by repairing damage to cells, thus maintaining normal functionality. The human body is both reliable and highly complex. It is this ability that we want to try to replicate in electronic systems. By studying the multi-cellular structure of living organisms and their protective immune systems, we hope to be able to design ‘nature-like’ fault tolerant architectures for electronics. This research has the potential to influence the way complex electronic systems are designed in the future, creating a new generation of electronic systems which are fault tolerant and self healing.”
The research will pave the way for a biologically inspired unique design approach for electronic systems across a wide range of applications, from communication through computing and control, to systems operating in safety-critical or hostile environments.
The project is funded by EPSRC.
Jane Kelly | alfa
Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
19.09.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
A simple additive to improve film quality
19.09.2017 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
19.09.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.09.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.09.2017 | Materials Sciences