2nd Intl Conf on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems (July 2013, London UK)

Dates: 29 July – 2 August 2013
Location: Natural History Museum, London, UK
Website: http://csnetwork.eu/livingmachines/conf2013
Deadline for submissions: UPDATED 29 March 2013

The development of future real-world technologies will depend strongly on our understanding and harnessing of the principles underlying living systems and the flow of communication signals between living and artificial systems.

Biomimetics is the development of novel technologies through the distillation of principles from the study of biological systems. The investigation of biomimetic systems can serve two complementary goals. First, a suitably designed and configured biomimetic artefact can be used to test theories about the natural system of interest. Second, biomimetic technologies can provide useful, elegant and efficient solutions to unsolved challenges in science and engineering. Biohybrid systems are formed by combining at least one biological component—an existing living system—and at least one artificial, newly-engineered component. By passing information in one or both directions, such a system forms a new hybrid bio-artificial entity.

The development of either biomimetic or biohybrid systems requires a deep understanding of the operation of living systems, and the two fields are united under the theme of “living machines”—the idea that we can construct artefacts, such as robots, that not only mimic life but share the same fundamental principles; or build technologies that can be combined with a living body to restore or extend its functional capabilities.

Biomimetic and biohybrid technologies, from nano- to macro-scale, are expected to produce major societal and economical impacts in quality of life and health, information and communication technologies, robotics, prosthetics, brain-machine interfacing and nanotechnology. Such systems should also lead to significant advances in the biological and brain sciences that will help us to better understand ourselves and the natural world. The following are some examples:
•       Biomimetic robots and their component technologies (sensors, actuators, processors) that can intelligently interact with their environments.
•       Active biomimetic materials and structures that self-organize and self-repair.
•       Biomimetic computers—neuromimetic emulations of the physiological basis for intelligent behaviour.
•       Biohybrid brain-machine interfaces and neural implants.
•       Artificial organs and body-parts including sensory organ-chip hybrids and intelligent prostheses.
•       Organism-level biohybrids such as robot-animal or robot-human systems.

The main conference will take the form of a three-day single-track oral and poster presentation programme, 30th July to 1st August 2013, that will include five plenary lectures from leading international researchers in biomimetic and biohybrid systems.  Agreed speakers are:
Mark Cutkosky, Stanford University (Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation);
Terrence Deacon, University of California, Berkeley (Natural and Artificial Selves);
Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena, Imperial College London (Biomimetics for medical devices);
Robert Full, University of California, Berkeley (Locomotion);
Andrew Pickering, University of Exeter (History of living machines).

Submissions will be in the form of full papers or extended abstracts. The proceedings will be published in the Springer-Verlag LNAI Series. Submissions are also invited for a one-day exhibition to feature working biomimetic or biohybrid systems and biomimetic/biohybrid art. The exhibition, will take place on the afternoon and evening of Thursday 1st August with the evening event including a press reception and buffet dinner. Active researchers in biomimetic and biohybrid systems are also invited to propose topics for 1-day tutorials or workshops on related themes.

The organisers are delighted to have secured the Flett Theatre at the Natural History Museum in London as the main venue for our conference.  The NHM is an international centre for the study of the natural world featuring many important biological collections. The exhibition and poster session on Thursday 1st will be hosted at the nearby Science Museum, and the satellite events at Imperial College London.  All three venues are conveniently located within a short walking distance of each other in South Kensington, the Museum district of the UK capital, and close to many of London’s tourist sights.


Oral and poster programme
We invite both full papers (12 pages, LNCS format) and extended abstracts (3 pages, LNCS format). All contributions will be refereed. Full papers are invited from researchers at any stage in their career but should present significant findings and advances in biomimetic or biohybid research; more preliminary work would be better suited to extended abstract submission. Full papers will be accepted for either oral presentation (single track) or poster presentation. Extended abstracts will be accepted for poster presentation only. All submissions must be formatted according to Springer LNCS guidelines.  Papers should be submitted via the Living Machines web-site by midnight on March 22nd 2013.

The Living Machines 2013 Exhibition is intended to feature working biomimetic or biohybrid systems and biomimetic/biohybrid art.  It will take place in the London Science Museum Level 1 Galleries on Thursday 1st August 2013. The exhibition is expected to include intelligent artefacts such as biomimetic robotics; however, we are open to proposals for display of biomimetic or biohybrid systems of any kind. The exhibition will be in two sessions. In the afternoon session exhibits will be displayed alongside conference posters. This session will be open to conference delegates and sponsors only. The evening session will be alongside the LM2013 buffet dinner and reception. This session will be open to invited representatives of the press, VIPs, and conference delegates and members of the public who have registered for the evening event. For registered conference participants there is no additional charge to participate in the exhibition but you must register your exhibit using the proforma available through the LM2013 web-site. Note that, if you wish to continue to display your exhibit during the evening session, you must also register for the buffet dinner and reception in addition to the main conference.

We strongly encourage authors of accepted papers and extended abstracts to bring their working biomimetic or biohybrid artefacts to include in the exhibition. A prize will be awarded for the best exhibit.

The conference organisers would also be interested in performance type material for the evening session.  Please contact us if you have a proposal.

Satellite events
LM2013 will support satellite events, such as symposia, workshops or tutorials, in any of the areas listed below, which can be scheduled for either the 29th July or 2nd August.  Attendance at satellite events will attract a small fee intended to cover the costs of the meeting.  There is a lot of flexibility about the content, organisation, and budgeting for these events.  We have reserved meeting rooms at Imperial College London to host the satellites each with capacity for up to 40 people (though larger rooms could be arranged if needed) and will have projection equipment with technical support.

Proposals for satellites should be submitted using the proforma available from the LM2013 web-page by March 22nd, 2013 but please contact us sooner if you are thinking of organising an event. Confirmation of accepted proposals will be provided be early April at the latest.

Submissions of papers, exhibits and satellite events are invited in, but not limited to, the following topics and related areas. Biomimetics can, in principle, extend to all fields of biological research from physiology and molecular biology to ecology, and from zoology to botany. Promising research areas include system design and structure, self-organization and co-operativity, new biologically active materials, self-assembly and self-repair, learning, memory, control architectures and self-regulation, movement and locomotion, sensory systems, perception, and communication. Biomimetic research, particularly at the nano-scale, should also lead to important advances in component miniaturisation, self-configuration, and energy-efficiency.  A key focus of the conference will be on complete behaving systems in the form of biomimetic robots that can operate on different substrates on sea, on land, or in the air. A further central theme will be the physiological basis for intelligent behaviour as explored through neuromimetics—the modelling of neural systems. Exciting emerging topics within this field include the embodiment of neuromimetic controllers in hardware, termed neuromorphics, and within the control architectures of robots, sometimes termed neurorobotics. Biohybrid systems usually involve structures from the nano-scale (molecular) through to the macro-scale (entire organs or body parts). Important implementation examples are: Bio-machine hybrids where, for instance, biological muscle is used to actuate a synthetic device. Brain-machine interfaces where neurons and their molecular machineries are connected to microscopic sensors and actuators by means of electrical or chemical communication, either in vitro or in the living organism. Intelligent prostheses such as artificial limbs, wearable exoskeletons, or sensory organ-chip hybrids (such cochlear implants and artificial retina devices) designed to assist the disabled or elderly, or to aid rehabilitation from illness. Implantable or portable devices that have been fabricated for monitoring health care or for therapeutic purposes such as artificial implants to control insulin release. Biohybrid systems at the organism level such as robot-animal or robot-human communities.  Biohybrid systems may take advantage of progress in the field of synthetic biology. Contributions from biologists, neuroscientists, and theoreticians, that are of direct relevance to the development of future biomimetic or biohybrid devices are also welcome, as are papers considering ethical issues and/or societal impacts arising from the advances made in this field.

West London has many excellent hotels that are suitable for conference delegates. We are also organizing the provision of reasonably-priced accommodation for LM2013 events in the Imperial College Halls of Residence.

March 22nd, 2013 Paper submission deadline
March 22nd, 2013 Satellite Event proposal deadline
Early April, notification of accepted satellites
April 29th, 2013 Notification of acceptance of papers
May 20th, 2013 Camera ready copy
May 31st, Early registration deadline
July 29-August 2nd 2013 Conference

Living Machines 2013 is sponsored by the Convergent Science Network (CSN) for Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems which is an EU FP7 Future Emerging Technologies Co-ordination Activity. CSN also organises two highly successful workshop series: the Barcelona Summer School on Brain, Technology and Cognition and the Capoccaccia Neuromorphic Cognitive Engineering Workshop. Living Machines 2013 is supported by the IOP Physics Journal Biomimetics & Bio-inspiration, who this year will publish a special issue of articles based on last years’ LM2012 best papers.  A review of the state of the art in biomimetics, by the conference chairs, and reporting strong recent growth in the field, has just been published in the journal (http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-3182/8/1/013001). Other organisations wishing to sponsor the conference in any way and gain the corresponding benefits by promoting themselves and their products through conference publications, the conference web-site, and conference publicity are encouraged to contact the conference organisers to discuss the terms of sponsorship and necessary arrangements. We offer a number of attractive and good-value packages to potential sponsors.


About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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