The ability of ‘biohybrid’ robots are directed by the muscles and nerves, constructed by researchers

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Researchers have developed a soft robotic devices that are propelled by the neuromuscular tissue, and that it is activated when it is stimulated by the light.

Their work was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of sciences, the field of mechanical engineering is one step closer to the creation of autonomous biobots.

The researchers were able to show that there is a new generation of sea-bots are powered by skeletal muscle tissue that is stimulated by the on-board motor neurons. These neurons will be firing up the power of the muscles, due to exposure to light, which causes them to optogenetic. according to the results of the study.

“What’s the fact is that it’s a biological drive, or biobots, are not as mature as the other technologies, they may not be able to produce large forces. This makes their movements hard to control,” said Mattia Gazzola, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor of mechanical science and technology, in a statement.


This is an artist’s rendering of a next-generation biobots — soft robotic devices that are powered by skeletal muscle tissue-stimulated by the on-board motor neurons.
(Image courtesy of Michael Vincent)


Other researchers involved in the study, said their work also opens up new possibilities for the use of these kinds of biobots, to the benefit of the general public.

“The ability to drive the muscle activity of neurons, paving the way for the further integration of the neural units in biohybrid systems,” Taher Saif, a mechanical science and engineering professor at the Univerisy of Illinoir at Urbana-Champaign, said. “Our understanding of the neural control in animals, it is possible to go ahead with the biohybrid neuro-design with the help of a hierarchical organisation of neural networks.”

The scientists in the eyes of potential applications in the fields of bio-engineering, medicine and self-healing materials technology.

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