The Robot 'Cyborg' built with sea slug muscle

After combining the tissues from sea slug with bendable 3D printing components which are under 5 cm long, researchers have built a robot called cyborg which might help them one day, to probe the depths of the fresh and saltwater with ease. This “Biohybrid” robot has the similar abilities for crawling like the sea turtles which were developed by the researchers. This little robot has the big implications. The research Centre is located at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio.

The key usage of these biohybrid robots could be in determining the source of the toxic leak in the pond. It is also helpful in searching for the black box flight data recorder on the ocean floor.

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The primary purpose to choose the sea slug by the researchers, because the animal is durable down to its cells, as the standing substantial changes in the temperature, salinity and more in the Pacific Ocean tides shift their environment between the deep water and the shallow pools. When compared with the mammal and the bird muscles which require strictly controlled conditions to operate and these slugs are much more adaptable.

To the searching tasks, “we want the robots to be compliant, to interact with the environment,” Webster said. “One of the problems with traditional robotics, in particular on the small scale, is that actuators–the units that provide a movement – tend to be rigid,” she added.

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“We’re building a living machine — a biohybrid robot that’s not completely organic — yet,” said lead researcher and PhD student Victoria Webster in a statement.

Ozan Akkus, The Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and The Director of the CWRU Tissue Fabrication and Mechanobiology Lab says, the team also used collagen from the sea slug’s skin for creating a shell that could be utilized in the place of the polymer body for the entirely organic robot.

“When we integrate the muscle with its natural biological structure, it’s hundreds to thousands of times better,” Akkus explained.