Scientists that seek to upgrade the human body using technology and robotics are certainly moving at a fast pace. But when it comes to technology that can be upgraded using organic parts, the movement is going more along at (seemingly) a snail’s pace. But we are making advancements.
Take, for example, this new “biohybrid” robot.
A team from Case Western Reserve University have have built a biohybrid robot by taking a muscle from a sea slug and using it in a robot made with 3D printed parts.
The researchers took buccal muscles from around mouths of the Aplysia californica, or sea hare—a species of sea slug. When the muscle is energized using electricity, the muscle contracts, causing the hybrid to crawl forward.
These sea slugs make the perfect candidate since they are tough creatures, down to the cellular level. They endure changes of temperature, salinity, and habitat as they live in the deep ocean.
But don’t get your hopes up. This robot may crawl, but it really is at a slow pace, with their 2-inch robot moving at only a rate of 0.4 centimeters per minute.