The bionic kangaroo that copies kangaroos to figure out how to use less energy to move machinery is only one of the many example of biomimicry showing up in modern design.
Biomimicry refers to the practice of looking at how nature solves problems and using the insights thus gained to improve design. An article in Forbes lists a number of examples, from jellyfish-inspired jet propulsion to super-strong joints based on ants. You can see many more examples at AskNature.org.
This is not a new idea. Remember Icarus? In the ancient story, Icarus built himself a pair of wings just like a bird’s wings, using wax to attach feathers to the frame he created. Leonardo Da Vinci’s plans for a flying machine were inspired by bats.
Look at current biomimicry projects and you’ll see that many are controlled by servomotors — sometimes using dozens to create eerily natural movements. Servomotors are the natural choice; some people believe that the name comes from “cerveau,” the French word for brain, which sounds a lot like the word “servo.” These people are wrong. But the use of a closed feedback loop to control actions certainly has a lot in common with a natural brain.
New idea or not, biomimicry makes a lot of sense.