Plasmobot: Research in weird biological robotics

Picture: Wikipedia

Here we have some real science fiction. Researches from UK have received 228.000 pounds from the "Leverhulme Trust", to build an amorphous non-silicon biological robot. The plasmobot should be build from physarum polycephalum. This is mould, that lives in forests, gardens and wet places in general. The research should be a step into a complete new field of robotics, that enables parallel processing with non-silicon parts.

Well, why the hell use mould? Professor Andy Adamatzky, who leads the project, has proved in a former project, that the mould has 'computing abilities'! They call it plasmodium. He says:

This mould, or plasmodium, is a naturally occurring substance with its own embedded intelligence. It propagates and searches for sources of nutrients and when it finds such sources it branches out in a series of veins of protoplasm. The plasmodium is capable of solving complex computational tasks, such as the shortest path between points and other logical calculations. Through previous experiments we have already demonstrated the ability of this mould to transport objects. By feeding it oat flakes, it grows tubes which oscillate and make it move in a certain direction carrying objects with it. We can also use light or chemical stimuli to make it grow in a certain direction.

Not enough yet? Than take this:

This new plasmodium robot, called plasmobot, will sense objects, span them in the shortest and best way possible, and transport tiny objects along pre-programmed directions. The robots will have parallel inputs and outputs, a network of sensors and the number crunching power of super computers.

Totally weird. I don't want to quote the whole article here. Read the rest at science daily.

Tags: plasmobot, biological, mold, mould, research
Sep_01:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

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