GVTech News The “Terminator” envisioned by James Cameron is approaching! Japanese researchers have created a living robot made of muscles and tissue engineered from mouse cells
Will a humanoid robot covered in human skin like the Terminator soon become a reality? Japanese researchers have just taken a real step in this direction, by creating a bipedal creature with living muscles. The first one is still worth developing.
If your name is Sarah Connor, beware: Maybe a robot with a human appearance will come and knock on your door… In the distant future, sure, but still! Scientists from the University of Tokyo in Japan are currently working on this Designing custom living muscles to equip robots. Their first innovation is small in scale but promising: It is a small bipedal bio-hybrid robot. Its peculiarity: having legs equipped with muscles designed from rat cells.
A robot with living muscles is possible
This prototype has two legs and combines an artificial skeleton with biological muscles. This is not the first time such a robot has seen the light. On the other side, This is the first time that a model of this type has been able to walk and spin in water. “Typical biohybrid robots can move in straight lines or make large turns, but have difficulty making precise movements in small spaces.”“, explains the article published on Japanese University website. “The new robot can rotate on one foot, allowing it to turn in a small circle.”
Currently, this little robot can only move in water for a simple reason: Muscles made using mouse cells tend to dry out quickly when exposed to open air. But the researchers behind this experiment are already working on developing a new model capable of walking on Earth using… Thicker muscles, able to draw on nutrient reserves. Artificial skin is also being studied.
A potential robot with multiple uses
“We are working on designing robots with additional joints and muscle tissue to enable more advanced walking capabilities.”“, explains Professor Shuji Takeuchi, who leads the study. “Our results provide valuable insights for the development of soft, flexible, muscle-tissue-powered robots and have the potential to contribute to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of biological locomotion, allowing us to further mimic the complexities of human walking among robots.”
For years we have seen bipedal robots, especially from Boston Dynamics, with increasingly advanced capabilities and above all Motor skills are increasingly close to human. But there's always a little something missing, and… Thanks to this Japanese experience, a new milestone can be reached in the development of a bipedal robot that moves like a man. The development of such a model could make it possible to use it in extreme conditions where humans cannot necessarily respond and where high precision of movements is nevertheless necessary, in particular in some search and rescue operations. But it will take some time to achieve such a result. Intuitively, Sarah Connor can sleep peacefully.
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