Article Winner: Biobots Deciphering Hybrid Living Machines
DY PATIL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOINFORMATICS INSTITUTE
Biobots/ Biorobots is a field of science that creates hybrid machines with living tissues such as muscles or nerves. It can range from nano in size to as big as a chip able to control an animal through a neural interface. Although still in development, Biobots have a tremendous gamut of applications in society and it would be a challenging attempt to address modern problems in medical treatment, diagnosis, and environment-related conditions.
To power this Biotechnological goal, researchers at the University of Illinois developed soft, biological robotic devices that are self-driven using light-stimulated neuro-muscular tissue and have intelligence, memory, and the required learning ability. This, therefore, marked the first milestone for the researchers in preparing intelligent biorobots which will perform the process of self-assembly. We will further ponder over the diverse types of biobots and their influence on mankind in the imminent future.
Nano surgeons– Cutting-edge technology under the field of nanotechnology that is rapidly developing is the conceivable use of nanobots roaming about inside our bodies, delivering drugs with unparalleled precision, hunting down and destroying cancer cells. For cancer destruction, these robots were made from sheets of DNA which were rolled into tubes containing a blood-clotting drug. On the external view, the researchers used a small DNA molecule that was attached to the protein, activating the DNA tube to unfold and release the drug. Therefore, nanobots can be said to be the next-generation nano-medicines hoping to detect tissue damage, destroying plaques in blood cells, and performing another precision diagnosis.
Rat cyborgs– A rat cyborg system involves a biological rat with embeddings of microelectrodes in its brain, via which the outer electrical stimuli can be distributed into the brain in vivo to control its behavior. With the rapidly developing Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, and Neural engineering, the tremendous efforts for manually training the rat are simplified. Therefore, tackling the animal is handled by an automated training system. Once it is trained, the rat can potentially help in search and rescue in disaster areas, geographic information collection, explosives detection, and landmine detection. Other animals such as sharks, geckos, and moths are used as their heightened senses can travel and detect in places where no humans can reach to. Although ethical standards come into play, this field has enormous potential in the upcoming times.
Bots scrutinizing animal locomotion– The sole reason to study animal locomotion is to confirm the hypothesis of the interaction between the locomotor neuronal systems of the limbs and the spine to cause basic swimming and walking strides. However, designing a robot that accurately depicts an animal is difficult because of the animal’s flexible musculoskeletal systems. Therefore, with advanced tools and experience, the robots can mimic the animal dynamically as well as kinetically. One fine example is the pleurobot- A salamander-like robot that mimics its biological counterpart. It was designed to observe the strong motor skills of the salamander in a novel way.
Based on experiments, this type of study will soar in the future to understand animal locomotion thoroughly.
With technology evolving at full tilt and everything being automated, robots will acquire most of the labor-intensive jobs. It is crucial that we, as humans, need to consider ethical measures, assets, and liabilities and advance prudently into the promising future for the betterment of our planet.