Organismal Engineering for Next Generation Trainable, Autonomous Systems
In this talk, I will present two mobile robotic platforms with organic components. The first system combines electrocompacted and aligned collagen with primary avian muscle cells to create completely organic locomoting machines. The second system establishes the marine sea slug Aplysia californica as a novel source of materials for biohybrid robot development, and investigates the use of clusters of neurons as organic motor controllers. I will additionally present techniques for rapid simulation of biohybrid devices using commercially available finite element analysis tools. Such robotic systems have future applications in medicine, search and rescue, and environmental monitoring of sensitive environments (e.g. coral reefs).