This dissertation focuses on defining underlying mechanisms to enable the bio-inspired design of aerodynamic and/or hydrodynamic vehicles that operate within complex environments. This dissertation introduces four overarching research gaps found in current bio-inspired design research and four corresponding approach questions that guide the framework of the presented research. This research addresses the issues of a lack in determining “better” inspirational options for designers to use, a lack of automated methods within the field of bio-inspired design, a lack in a mechanical ranking system that is based on biology, and a lack of focus on capability an mobility linking the bio and mechanical world. This dissertation addresses these gaps through approach questions, used to design an Animal Specification Mobility Analysis (ASMA) methodology. This design methodology guides a designer to a potential bio-inspiration using simulations based on measurable specifications. These specifications help determine a score that represents the functionality of an animal within an environment. These scores supplement rank-able mobility characteristics that mathematically define what an animal may be capable of in terms of movement. The presented methodology is validated through three types of bio-inspired scenarios, each representing the current types of bio-inspired design processes.