Day of the cyborgs: US Army is developing muscle-bound, Terminator-like war robots that use LIVING TISSUE in place of actuators
- The Army Research Laboratory wants to grow living muscles for robots
- The team says the living tissue would replace actuators that hold joints
- This would give robots similar agility and versatility to biological systems
- The goal of this project is to create robots that can travel where humans can’t
Published: 11:03 EST, 19 January 2021 | Updated: 13:08 EST, 19 January 2021
Combining living tissue with cold metal robots may sound like a plot from the James Cameron film ‘Terminator,’ but the idea is being developed for real-world machines at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL).
The US military group is working on a series of ‘biohybrid robotics’ that integrates living organisms into mechanical systems that ‘produces never-seen-before agility and versatile.’
The team envisions growing muscle tissue in a lab that would be added to robotic joints in place of traditional actuators – components responsible for moving and controlling mechanisms.
The project aims to give robots the same agility and precision that muscles offer biological systems, allowing these futuristic machines to venture into spaces too risky for human soldiers.
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The US military group is working on a series of ‘biohybrid robotics’ that integrates living organisms into mechanical systems that ‘produces never-seen-before agility and versatile.’ The group is focusing on legged robots like the Army’s Legged Locomotion and Movement Adaptation research platform, known as LLAMA (pictured)
Dr. Dean Culver, a research scientist at the laboratory, said: ‘Though impressive in their own right, today’s robots are deployed to serve a limited purpose then are retrieved some minutes later.’
‘ARL wants robots to be versatile teammates capable of going anywhere Soldiers can and more, adapting to the needs of any given situation.’
The team is initially focusing on legged platforms similar to the Army’s Legged Locomotion and Movement Adaptation research platform, known as LLAMA, and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Legged Squad Support System, or LS3.
The idea is to give these war robots similar abilities to animals, such as balancing on uneven and unreliable terrain.