Engineers from the University of Illinois have created a miniature hybrid biorobot that is driven by motor neurons, artificial muscles and light.
The robot consists of a soft frame on which artificial muscle tissue and light-sensitive motor neurons are built up. Under the influence of light, neurons give a signal to the muscles, causing the robot to move forward.
The device is completely autonomous and independent of external power sources: in other words, the robot moves only thanks to neural impulses that cause muscles to contract.
Earlier, engineers from Imperial College London created a robot that could move like a flying fish with a small pump.