Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed what they are calling a, “biobot.” The device is a small robot, roughly one centimeter in size, coated with skeletal muscle cells and controlled by electrical impulses. The robot can be made to move slower or more quickly with the use of the electrical currents. Previous biobots have used heart cells in the past, but researchers found that these were difficult to control as heart cells are more sporadic in movement. The use of muscle cells allows the robots to move with a more natural movement that mimics the movements made by animals and humans.
The team from the University of Illinois sees enormous potential for these biobots to be used in surgical robots, environmental detectors, and programmable tissue engineering. For more information, click on the video above.