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An Innovative Method for Building Biomimetic Robots with Life-Like Movements

An Innovative Method for Building Biomimetic Robots with Life-Like Movements

In the ever-evolving field of artificial intelligence and robotics, Tokyo Institute of Technology has garnered attention with its novel usage of ultraviolet-laser processing to create biomimetic robots that mimic life-like movements. The creation of these biohybrid actuators enables the alignment of muscle cells, emulating intricate structures found in living organisms.

As opposed to traditional methods that are often laborious and time-consuming, this ground-breaking UV-laser technique offers a quicker, more effective route to achieving complex cellular arrangements. This achievement is not just a technical feat for robotics, but also holds potential in the realm of our understanding of muscle biology.

Biomimetic robots simulate specific movements and biological functions of living beings. With the development of biohybrid actuators, composed of soft materials and muscle cells, these innovative designs can recreate the dynamics of real muscles. However, the challenge has always been the ability to design these cells in anisotropic arrangements for complex, flexible movements. This technique involves aligning them in unique patterns, similar to the arrangement found in organisms.

The invention of intricate muscle cell arrangements requires the formation of curved microgrooves (MGs) on a substrate for aligning muscle cells in needed patterns. Traditional strategies to form these complex MGs like photolithography, wavy micrography, and micro-contact printing are impractical for rapid production due to their multi-step processes.

In response to this challenge, a research team led by Associate Professor Toshinori Fujie from the Tokyo Institute of Technology presents a new approach using UV-laser processing to mold complex microstructures. This technique generates MGs on a polyamide through UV-laser processing, which are then transcribed onto a thin film made of SBS. Following this, skeletal muscle cells or "myotubes" are aligned using the MGs to form an anisotropic curved muscle pattern.

Using this process, the team has successfully developed two distinct biohydraulic actuators – one connected to the glass substrate and the other unattached. Upon electrical stimulation, both actuators showed a twisting motion.

Overall, compared to traditional methods, UV-laser processing is a faster and easier methodology for the fabrication of varying muscle tissue structures. It’s a promising step towards more authentic biohybrid actuators capable of intricate, flexible movements.

Disclaimer: The above article was written with the assistance of AI. The original sources can be found on ScienceDaily.