MIT Engineers 3D Print a ‘Living Tattoo’

MIT engineers have devised a 3D printing technique that uses a new kind of ink made from genetically programmed living cells. The cells are engineered to light up in response to a variety of stimuli. When mixed with a slurry of hydrogel and nutrients, the cells can be printed, layer by layer, to form three-dimensional, interactive structures and devices.
Source: Robotics Trends

Japanese Startup GROOVE X Goes Viral as Teaser for LOVOT Robot

As a teaser for its groundbreaking LOVOT companion robots, scheduled for release in 2019, Japanese start-up GROOVE X has adopted a guerilla approach, placing billboards in strategic locations with the aim of taking its promotion viral. One of these billboards was placed outside of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, as a gesture of respect for SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
Source: Robotics Trends

Biohybrid actuators for robotics: A review of devices actuated by living cells

Actuation is essential for artificial machines to interact with their surrounding environment and to accomplish the functions for which they are designed. Over the past few decades, there has been considerable progress in developing new actuation technologies. However, controlled motion still represents a considerable bottleneck for many applications and hampers the development of advanced robots, especially at small length scales. Nature has solved this problem using molecular motors that, through living cells, are assembled into multiscale ensembles with integrated control systems. These systems can scale force production from piconewtons up to kilonewtons. By leveraging the performance of living cells and tissues and directly interfacing them with artificial components, it should be possible to exploit the intricacy and metabolic efficiency of biological actuation within artificial machines. We provide a survey of important advances in this biohybrid actuation paradigm.

Source: Sciencemag.org – Science Robotics Latest Content

Organismal engineering: Toward a robotic taxonomic key for devices using organic materials

Engineers are often inspired by the behavioral flexibility and robustness seen in nature. Recent advances in tissue engineering now allow the use of organic components in robotic applications. By integrating organic and synthetic components, researchers are moving toward the development of engineered organisms whose structural framework, actuation, sensing, and control are partially or completely organic. This review discusses recent exciting work demonstrating how organic components can be used for all facets of robot development. On the basis of this analysis, we propose a robotic taxonomic key to guide the field toward a unified lexicon for device description.

Source: Sciencemag.org – Science Robotics Latest Content