Biosynthetic Micro-Robot Will Combine Cells, Electronics
The Cyberplasm micro-robot will combine engineered cellular devices, electronics, and new methods of communicating between biological and electronic components, such as between muscles and the nervous system. (Source: Cyberplasm Project)
Hi Ann, Biosynthetic Micro-Robot research seems quite interesting based on your article. It's truly fascinating when electronics and biology are integrated to create these wonderful autonomous cells for the benefit it aiding the human body, for example drug delivery. The application of pollutants monitoring is quite interesting because of the micron level being engaged with these small biosynthetic machines. Who knows, allergies may become a thing of the past if such micro-machines can be used to eliminate their nose reactive bacteria. Great article as always Ann!
Thanks, mrdon. Allergies, eh? I hadn't thought of that in re this robot and drug delivery. Sounds like a great idea!--I suffer from them year-round. Right now, it's mold season in the redwoods, last week it was still dust and pollen season.
Sounds like some pretty radical foundational technology that could have huge impact across a wide variety of applications. The biomickry stuff you've been writing about is pretty amazing. But I have to ask: What is a sea lamprey?
Hi Beth, No sure about the cell to cell communication but I envision the movement of the biosynthetic micro-robot to be that of the sea lamprey which is a long side to side propulsion of travel. Just guessing!
Beth, mrdon is right: the lamprey was chosen for its swimming motions that the robot will emulate. Cell-to-cell communication is a project goal, and not particularly related to the choice of animal model.
I don't want to get political but this is exactly the technology our federal government and private enterprise should be funding. This technology has the prospect of making better the lives of individuals with disabilities and those with disabilities resulting from accidents. The very thought of being able to communicate in this fashion must be very exciting to those researchers involved. Excellent article Ann.
bobjengr, glad you enjoyed the article. This is multi-national research, not confined to the US, and the funding source is the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has a long history of science funding and support. I'm curious why you think this should be funded by the government and/or private enterprise?
Ann--I really did not state my comments too well. What I really meant to say was projects like this one represent efforts considerably more worthwhile than ones we sometime see receiving funding; i.e. "promoting specialty shampoo for dogs", "how golfers might benefit from using their imagination", "prom week"--a game that allows taxpayers to relive their prom night, etc. You get the picture. Each year Tom Coburn publishes his "Wastebook" series that lists the most egregious earmarks. Projects we can all probably live without. The biosynthetic micro project is one example of a long-term project well worth the effort and one which will probably produce results that can actually benefit individuals. I think NSF does a commendable job and provides significant value added to science and technology in general. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to restate my message. Again, great article.
As energy efficiency becomes more and more a concern for makers of electronics devices, researchers are coming up with new ways to harvest energy from sound vibration, footsteps, and even electromagnetic fields in the air.
The government wants to study your brain, and DARPA wants to use similar information to give robots true autonomy beyond any artificial intelligence developed to date. Sound like science fiction? It's not.
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