To locate disease in the human body, it would be great if a doctor could get inside and look around. Imaging technology helps, but the resolution of the image isn't always good enough for analysis. On top of that shortcoming, a lot of imaging technologies, like MRIs, involve using large, expensive machines the size of a small room.
That's where something called cyberplasm comes in. To learn more about this micro-robot, which fuses together microelectronics and biomimicry, Daniel Frankel of Newcastle University is leading a U.K.-based study with the support of a research team from the National Science Foundation in the United States.
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The idea is to have an electronic nervous system (which every robot ultimately has) with sight and smell sensors derived from animal cells. Cyberplasm's artificial muscles would be powered by glucose, just as real muscles are. In addition, the robot would respond to light and chemical stimuli the same way a real creature does.