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Book Review: Natural Innovation: Examples of Creative Problem Solving in Biology, Ecology, and TRIZ

| On 27, Sep 2002

Book Review:
Natural Innovation: Examples of Creative Problem Solving in Biology, Ecology, and TRIZ

Dr. Michael S. Slocum and Ms. Catherine Lundberg
Ontro, Inc.
Dr. Ellen Domb
PQR Group

Title: Natural Innovation: Examples of Creative Problem Solving in Biology, Ecology, and TRIZ (ISBN 5-88912-004-2)
Price $28.00 (71 pagesPublisher: CREAX (www.creax.com)
Author: V.I. Timokhov

Natural Innovation: Examples of Creative Problem Solving in Biology, Ecology, and TRIZ is a compilation of 170 illustrative examples and problems. This book is divided into two parts with two appendices:

Part I: Basic Concepts of TRIZ
Use of Resources in Biological Systems
Classification of Problems
Inventive Problems
Part II: Examples of Creative Problem Solving Using Biology, Ecology, and TRIZ
Appendices: Brief Information about TRIZ
TRIZ and Pedagogy

The problems and solutions offered are further divided into 8 sub-sections:

Biology
Ecology and Natural Sciences
Social Inventions
Change of Existing System
Destruction of Harmful Influences
Measurement
Inventive
Research

Biological and ecological examples are utilized throughout the book as a means of describing the various TRIZ principles being introduced and explained. The example scope is very large and therefore interesting. The traditional primary teaching examples used to introduce TRIZ are somewhat dated and any fresh (in English at least) approach will be considered with enthusiasm.

Animal behavior in Examples 15 and 17 about a female Marsupial Marten are used to illustrate the TRIZ concept of Separation in Time to solve a physical contradiction. Animal physiology is used in examples 16 and 18 to demonstrate Inventive Principles #17 and #3, Another Dimension and Local quality. Examples 16 and 18 describe how a South African fish utilizes eyes with two pupils in each eye to simultaneously see above the water to look for insects to eat and in the water to see predatory fish. Some examples use whole ecological or social systems. Example 33 describes how Tetramorim caespitum ants bombard bees protecting their hives with small stones. The bees get angry and leave the burrow thus allowing the ants to enter. Plants, bacteria, algae, and even people are used in a variety of examples. Example 11 describes how Noctiluca (sea sparklers), which illuminate in the presence of turbulence, are used to identify submarines by satellite.

Some of the examples illustrate the principle with a weak correlation but most of the cases have a strong correlation to the principle in question.

The 170 examples demonstrate to TRIZ practitioners numerous disciplines in which TRIZ principles can be applied. Traditionally, TRIZ examples explore technical and manufacturing domains; these examples extend TRIZ principles to ecology, biology, and other non-traditional disciplines. They will be useful to TRIZ teachers, TRIZ practioners, and to workers in biology and ecology who are learning TRIZ.

The book reads clearly and there is no interruption in the flow of the text created by the translation.

This work of examples demonstrating natural innovation is promised to be the first in a series. This approach is interesting and informative and should be reviewed by anyone attempting to master TRIZ.

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