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
Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences