Illinois engineers create naturally walking rat-bots

Published April 28, 2020

Adding liv­ing mus­cle cells to plas­tic skele­tons was a start. Now University of Illinois researchers have added the lum­bar spinal cords of rats to their robots to cre­ate “spin­obots.”

Not creepy at all:

The researchers saw spon­ta­neous mus­cle con­trac­tions in the spin­obots, sig­nal­ing that the desired neu­ro-mus­cu­lar junc­tions had formed and the two cell types [mus­cle and neu­ron] were communicating.

[Adding glu­ta­mate] caused the mus­cle to con­tract and the legs to move in a nat­ur­al walk­ing rhythm. When the glu­ta­mate was rinsed away, the spin­obots stopped walking.

Artist’s con­cep­tion

Tags: , , ,