Robotics Gone Wild: 8 Animal-Inspired Machines - InformationWeek

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7/15/2016
07:06 AM
Thomas Claburn
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Robotics Gone Wild: 8 Animal-Inspired Machines

If you want a glimpse of the future of robotics, start by looking at our biological past and present. Here are eight robots that borrow aspects of animal physiology, which has been honed through eons of Darwinian user testing.
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Spine Gold, Heart Of Rat
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute borrowed from the design of the stingray to create living machine -- a robot ray propelled by muscle cells derived from a rat's heart. The ray goes beyond biomimicry. It qualifies as a cyborg, a combination of biological and mechanical systems.
Kevin Kit Parker, professor of bioengineering and applied physics at Harvard's Wyss Institute, told InformationWeek in an email that while some of colleagues are focused on advancing soft tissue robotics, he's more interested in how the work might help improve human health -- specifically by advancing artificial heart technology. The implication of engineering a reliable artificial heart using living cells could pave the way for an artificial heart that works more effectively than existing options inside a human body.
(Image courtesy of Sung-Jin Park, Karaghen Hudson, and Michael Rosnach)

Spine Gold, Heart Of Rat

Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute borrowed from the design of the stingray to create living machine -- a robot ray propelled by muscle cells derived from a rat's heart. The ray goes beyond biomimicry. It qualifies as a cyborg, a combination of biological and mechanical systems.

Kevin Kit Parker, professor of bioengineering and applied physics at Harvard's Wyss Institute, told InformationWeek in an email that while some of colleagues are focused on advancing soft tissue robotics, he's more interested in how the work might help improve human health -- specifically by advancing artificial heart technology. The implication of engineering a reliable artificial heart using living cells could pave the way for an artificial heart that works more effectively than existing options inside a human body.

(Image courtesy of Sung-Jin Park, Karaghen Hudson, and Michael Rosnach)

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