Living things: They’re most inspiring, but also difficult things to try to replicate in robotics. With that aim, researchers in Japan have managed to design a tiny robotic system that moves like a living cell. The scientists described the robot last week in the journal Science Robotics.
The system, called a molecular robot, is about the size and consistency of an amoeba. It is a fluid-filled sac containing only biological and chemical components—about 27 of them, says Shin-ichiro Nomura, a bioengineer at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and one of the robot’s inventors. The molecular components work in concert to stretch and change the shape of the sac, propelling it with cell-like motion through a fluid environment. The motion can be turned on and off with DNA signals that respond to light.
via IEEE Spectrum