Specialists from the University of Illinois have developed soft robotic devices that are powered by neuromuscular elements and respond to light exposure. It will be possible to use them in various fields - from bioengineering to medicine, Xinhua reported.
Scientists tested two-tails robots powered by skeletal muscles stimulated by motor neurons, which have the ability to emit a signal to the muscles when exposed to light.
Thus, a flexible system was created in which a robot, muscles, neurons and a light source were connected together. This system made the robot move at the request of scientists. They used computer models to understand what physical characteristics allowed the robot to move most efficiently.
According to experts, this is the first step towards the creation of bio-hybrid neuromuscular elements. They can be used in the construction of multicellular living systems that can respond to environmental changes. There are many areas of application for these developments as bioengineering, medicine, technology of self-healing materials.