Ontogenetic hardware

Moshe Sipper, Daniel Mange, André Stauffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Ontogeny is the process by which a single mother cell, the zygote, gives rise, through successive divisions, to a complete organism, possibly containing trillions of cells (e.g. in humans). This paper describes research whose inspiration is drawn from the process of ontogenetic development. By adopting certain features of cellular organization, and by transposing them to the world of integrated circuits on silicon, we show that certain properties unique to the living world, such as self-replication, self-repair, and growth, can also be attained in artificial objects (integrated circuits). Specifically, we identify and describe three classes of ontogenetic hardware: (1) self-replicating hardware; (2) embryonic hardware; and (3) L-systems based hardware, dubbed L-hardware. For each class we present an example of a hardware realization, along with a discussion of possible applications. Continued research on ontogenetic hardware may yield novel bio-inspired systems endowed with replicative, growth, and regenerative capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryonics
  • L-systems
  • Ontogeny
  • Self-repair
  • Self-replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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