When one thinks of a robot, everyone's brains must be filled with shiny metal limbs and bodies, as well as walking sounds and voices full of machine texture. Hard-edged robots, which consist of simple metal rigid materials, walk in the factory. Once they hit a worker, the latter can easily be injured. Therefore, making a hard machine as soft and docile as an animal is a subject of increasing concern to researchers. This idea can be achieved by connecting ordinary actuating devices (such as engines) with pneumatic artificial muscles or springs. For example, the construction of the Whegs series of robots uses springs to connect the engine and the legs. Once it hits an obstacle (human), the spring absorbs the impact energy to prevent people from getting hurt. In addition, the sweeper's bumper is also spring-loaded to prevent it from damaging the furniture during work.
However, part of the research has opened up new areas. Combining robotics with tissue engineering, researchers are developing robots that use live muscle tissue or cells. Under current or flash stimuli, the cell contraction causes the trunk of the robot to bend, thus causing the robot to swim in the water or crawl on land. This type of robot can move freely and be as soft as an animal. Compared to ordinary robots, they are more secure to the surrounding humans and the environment. It is precisely because they are similar to animals, they no longer rely on batteries, but instead use muscles to supply energy to muscle cells, thereby reducing their own weight. Using Titanium Alloy Molds to Make Tissue-Engineered Bio-Robots Manufacturing Bio-Robots Researchers create living robots by growing live cells (usually rat and chicken heart or skeletal muscle cells) on non-toxic scaffolds. If a matrix matrix is ​​made of a polymer material, the corresponding robot can be called a biosynthetic robot—a combination of natural and artificial materials. If the cells are disorderly arranged on the skeleton, they will shrink in any direction. This means that the contractile force generated after the cells are subjected to electrical stimulation is offset in all directions and cannot effectively pull the entire robot movement. In order to rationally use cell energy, the researchers used micropatterning. Fine wires are attached to or printed on the matrix matrix to which the cells are easily attached, and used to guide cell division and growth to finally aggregate in a specific arrangement pattern. In this way, the cells are no longer a mess, but an orderly arrangement of whole bodies that can apply traction to the skeleton as designed by the researcher to drive the "limbs" and "fins" of the machine. Organized engineering light control software machine squid. Inspired by animal biosynthetic robots In addition to a series of biosynthetic robots, researchers have also developed all-organic robots. Their skeleton uses natural organic materials such as skin collagen rather than high polymer materials. Operate under electric field stimulation. Some robots are inspired by medical tissue engineering to support the torso with long wrists (or tentacles). Other prototypes of robots originate from the natural world and are called bionic synthesis robots. A robot developed by a research group at the California Institute of Technology is based on jellyfish. This robot called medusoid is surrounded by a circle of brachiopods. Each wrist-foot uses micrographics to guide cells with protein wires to form muscle tissue similar to living jellyfish. When the cell shrinks, the wrist foot flexes to the inside to push the machine to swim in the nutrient solution. Recently, researchers announced their approach to driving bio-robots. Harvard’s research team used gene-modified heart cells to successfully swim squid-like robots. The modified heart cells respond to lightwave stimuli at specific frequencies—the cells on both sides of the squid robot’s “fish” react to light waves at two different frequencies. The researchers irradiated light to the head of the squid, where the cells contracted and released electrical signals. As the signal travels along the "fish", the pathway cells shrink in tandem, thereby pushing the machine forward. The researchers turned the squid by changing the light wave frequency. If a certain side of the "fish" body is sensitive to a certain frequency light wave, the side cell shrinks more obviously, turning the whole body to the side. Enhancing the adaptability of robots The progress in the field of biosynthetic robots is indeed encouraging, but it is also a major issue for them to put them out of the lab for practical use. At present, the robots have a short life span and a low carrying capacity, which limits their moving speed and working performance. Robots made with mammals or bird cells are very demanding on the environment. For example, the ambient temperature must be close to the organism's body temperature, and the cells need to rely on nutrient fluids to maintain function. One solution is to seal the robot in the nutrient solution for a long period of time to protect the cells from the external environment. Another method is to use more robust cells as drivers. Case Western Reserve University is expected to implement this method using the habitually robust Aplysia californica. Sea otters inhabit the tidal flat area and suffer severe temperature differences and salinity changes in the day's high-tide ebb cycle. After some low tide, some sea otters will be trapped in the tide pit. Under the sun, the water in the pit evaporates and the temperature rises. On the contrary, the salinity of the sea drops when it rains. At high tide, the sea slug climbed out of the tidal pit. They evolved powerful cells in order to adapt to changing conditions. The turtle-inspired biosynthetic robot is driven by jellyfish muscle cells. We have been able to use sea lice to drive biological robots, which means that robots made from elastic tissue will have greater environmental adaptability. Its size (about 1.5 feet long, 1 foot wide) is sufficient to withstand the appropriate load. Another challenge for the development of biological robots is the lack of an integrated control system. At present, engineers only use the electric field and light for external control. In order to realize the concept of a fully automated biological robot, we will rely on a controller that directly interfaces with muscles and provides sensory input for itself. One of these is an organic controller called the ganglia, consisting of neurons and ganglia. This is one of the reasons why we use California Sea Bream. They have been used as a model system for neurobiological research for decades. The research on the relationship between the nervous system and the muscle of the sea bream has been quite thorough. On this basis, we will use the neuron to develop an organic controller to control the movement of the robot so that they can perform tasks such as searching for toxic substances or tracking light sources. Although research in the field of biosynthetic robots is still in its infancy, scientists have already described the technology's take-off in applications. For example, these micro-robots can be batch-discharged to a water source or ocean for the search for toxic substances or leak detection. These sensors have good biocompatibility and can be degraded or ingested and digested by wild animals. Compared to traditional rigid robots, they do not harm the environment. In the future, medical robots may be manufactured using human tissues. They can be targeted for drug delivery, removal of thrombi, or as a drivable intravascular stent. The stent can strengthen the blood vessels to avoid aneurysm, and their matrix is ​​organic materials instead of synthetic materials, so it can be integrated with the body after a period of time. In addition to the aforementioned small biological robots, related research has begun to explore the manufacture of vascular systems. The era of muscle-driven large-scale robots is approaching.

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