A team of Japanese scientists led by Yuya Morimoto and Shoji Takeuchi at the University of Tokyo have managed to create a robot that moves thanks to muscle tissue from rats. It has been called a”biohybrid robot”.
The team took a batch of lab-grown animal muscle cells and put them on sheets of hydrogel, where they subsequently continued to mature within a liquid bath. The sheets were then placed on the robot’s skeleton. Because the muscles were aligned as an ‘antagonistic’ pair, they were stopped from shrinking as well as from deteriorating.
Once that was done, electrodes were used for muscle contractions.
During tests, the robot fingers managed to place a ring on a target and have worked well together for over a week.
The researchers explained the details of their creation in a paper published in Science Robotics.
They are looking forward to creating more biohybrid body parts, as well, like an entire hand or an arm. In the future, they could show off a full-grown biohybrid humanoid robot.