Smart Materials

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There is an increasing awareness of the benefits to be derived from the development and exploitation of smart materials and structures in applications ranging from hydrospace to aerospace. With the ability to respond autonomously to changes in their environment, smart systems can offer a simplified approach to the control of various material and system characteristics such as light transmission, viscosity, strain, noise and vibration etc. depending on the smart materials used .

There are a number of materials that act as both sensors and actuators that can monitor and respond to their environment. However, with the ability to also modify their properties in response to an environmental change, they can be 'very smart' and, in effect, learn. While the scope of sensors and actuators is quite broad, three main sub-programs have been identified – Smart Structures and Materials, Miniature Sensor and Actuators and Automated Testing, Inspection Monitoring and Evaluation. These are exciting times for Sensors and Actuators with the maturing of the enabling technologies of Photonics and Electronics paving the way for inventive and innovative system designs.

For the modelling of sensor behaviours, the ultimate objective is to build intelligent autonomous virtual humans with adaptation, perception and memory. These virtual humans should be able to act freely and emotionally. They should be conscious and unpredictable. The virtual humans are expected in the near future to represent computer the concepts of behaviour, intelligence, autonomy, adaptation, perception, memory, freedom, emotion, consciousness, and unpredictability. Behaviour for virtual humans may be defined as a manner of conducting themselves. It is also the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment.Intelligence may be defined as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations.

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