22 Nov US Military begins work on ‘Biohybrid Robotics’
Like something out of a movie – the U.S. Military has begun work on ‘Biohybrid Robotics’ which combine living organisms into mechanical systems that apparently produce ‘never-seen-before agility and versatility’.
The initial goal of the project, beyond testing the integration of the two ‘materials’, is to give robots the same agility and precision that muscles off biological systems – allowing them to venture into spaces usually too risky for human soldiers.
Certain lateral movement, whilst evolved now, is still a pressure point for robotics companies, with companies such as Boston Dynamics dedicated to advancing the movement of robots.
Speaking on the new research, Doctor Dean Culver compared the incorporation of the new technology to be reminiscent of the evolution of Animals:
“Muscle actuation, though certainly not solely responsible for it, is a big contributor to animals’ ability to navigate uneven and unreliable terrain. Similarly, flapping wings and flying organisms’ ability to reconfigure their envelope gives them the ability to dart here and there, even among branches.
In multi-domain operations, this kind of agility and versatility means otherwise inaccessible areas are now viable.”
The doctor hints at technology in the future having bat-like wings and speedier movement, all spawned from the incorporation of muscle tissue into existing systems.
Critics of the program have asked what will fuel the biological tissue and maintain its strength in the face of decay. Comparisons to Hollywood movies have also been made, suggesting a grim future between humanity as a source of parts for machines – however, others are pointing out the medical benefits of exploring the relationship between printed muscle and reinforced machinery, such as helping people to walk again or combatting muscle deterioration.