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Robotic ray is part animal, part machine, built from 200,000 genetically engineered heart muscle cells...


Source: YouTube Video

Stashed in: Robots!, Heart, Medicine, Science!, Awesome

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Whoa. Who made that and why?

Flashing the light at the bot sets off a wave of contractions, making the fins undulate, like a flag rippling in the wind. To make the stingray turn, the team stimulates the bot’s right and left fins separately. Faster flashing on the right side makes the ray turn left and vice versa, Parker says.

By moving the lights slowly across a fluid-filled chamber, the researchers led the bot in a curving path around three obstacles.

“It’s very impressive,” says MIT computer scientist Daniela Rus. The stingray is “capable of a new type locomotion that had not been seen before” in robots, she says.  

Bashir says he can envision such devices one day used in biomedicine or even environmental cleanup: Perhaps researchers could program cells on a swimming bot to suck toxicants out of lakes or streams. But the work is still in its early days, he says.

Parker, a bioengineer interested in cardiac cell biology, has something entirely different in mind. He wants to create an artificial heart that children born with malformed hearts could use as a replacement. Like a heart, a stingray’s muscular body is a pump, he says, designed to move fluids. The robot gave Parker a chance to work on assembling a pump made with living materials.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/light-activated-heart-cells-help-guide-robotic-stingray

Wow, thank you for that link!

I had no idea that this had tremendous implications toward developing some artificial hearts.

Very exciting!

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