Robotic Arm Tastes Through Bacteria

Robotic Arm Tastes Through Bacteria
An innovative biohybrid robotic arm ‘tastes’ its environment with the help of engineered bacteria.

Developed by teams from UC Davis and Carnegie Mellon, the soft robotic gripper is equipped with a ‘biosensing module’ fitted with E .coli bacteria engineered to respond to the chemical IPTG. When that specific chemical is detected, the bacteria will produce a fluorescent protein that is detected by the gripper and allows the robot to ‘decide’ if it should proceed with the assigned task.

Although the biohybrid robotic gripper can only test for one chemical now, the team believes more bacteria could be engineered to offer more flexibility and perform different functions.

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