After combining certain tissues of a mollusk belonging to the Californian species Aplysia with flexible components manufactured using 3D printing techniques, a group of researchers has succeeded in creating a kind of robot «biohybrid« o cyborg able to crawl like sea turtles when walking on a beach. For the moment, to move, this peculiar biohybrid robot needs an external source although, in future evolutions, it will be able to move completely autonomously.
To achieve this, the researchers in charge of the project will need to create a kind of nerve ganglia capable of producing electrical signals that will be sent to the animal's muscles. On the other hand, we want to take advantage of the studies carried out by Victoria Webster, from Case Western Reserve University in the United States, regarding the manipulation of collagen from snail skin in order to build an organic scaffold.
These little cyborg can be ideal for dangerous tasks
According to those responsible for this experiment, it seems that the purpose of the experiment is that swarms made up of this kind of biohybrid robot They will be able to perform tasks such as locating the origin of a toxic leak in a pond, a task that no animal today could fulfill since its irrepressible urge to flee makes it impossible. Another example, according to those responsible for the project, is that they may be ideal for searching for a black box at the bottom of an ocean after a plane crash.
A most interesting point is that, if a large number of these peculiar robots are released in the middle of nature, be it in the middle of a mountain range, in the sea or ocean or in a pond, we should not worry about the fact that later these , after carrying out their work, they are not collected since, thanks to their biohybrid structure these they will not pollute the place with toxic substances when they break down.