As robotics advances and ever more precise and specific actions are required, engineers are looking outside the traditional avenues for inspiration. Given the range of sophisticated actions honed in nature, it is natural that many should turn to biology for inspiration. This field of research, where engineers attempt to create machine versions of biological features, is known as biomimetics. This is the field of Professor Seiji Aoyagi of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kansai University, Osaka, Japan. Rather than designing and building new structures from scratch, biomimetics allows one to copy sophisticated designs from nature. 'Nature has acquired optimal shapes and movements during evolution, complex synthetic elements can be more easily achieved and this is where understanding of biomimetics can add much value,' outlines Aoyagi. 'Biomimetics creates various high-level functions by imitating nature, such as elements, systems, movements, etc., of animals and plants.' However, biomimetics cannot be conducted by a single engineer, as no one person has the skills to examine and interpret the biology, transfer the biological to mechanical and build the device. Therefore, collaboration is key. Aoyagi collaborates with a wide range of biologists, computing specialists and engineers. As one of examples, the microneedle mimicking mosquito is under development in the project he is leading, which is expected for realizing painless sampling a small amount of blood as same as a mosquito does.