Researcher Cheemeng Tan from UC Davis says that the long term goal of the researchers is to build a synthetic microbiota for soft robots that can help with repair, energy generation, or biosensing. Soft robotics is an area of significant research and aim to create machines that match the versatility of living things, and soft robot designs are inspired by nature.
The team says that combining work in flexible electronics and robotic skin with synthetic biology puts them closer to breakthroughs in biohybrid robots. The new robot that the team has created uses a biosensing module that is based on the E. coli bacteria engineered to respond to the chemical IPTG. When exposed to the chemical, the robot produces a fluorescent protein.
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