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Remote control of muscle-driven miniature robots with battery-free wireless optoelectronics


Bioengineering approaches that combine living cellular components with three-dimensional scaffolds to generate motion can be used to develop a new generation of miniature robots. Integrating on-board electronics and remote control in these biological machines will enable various applications across engineering, biology, and medicine. Here, we present hybrid bioelectronic robots equipped with battery-free and microinorganic light-emitting diodes for wireless control and real-time communication. Centimeter-scale walking robots were computationally designed and optimized to host on-board optoelectronics with independent stimulation of multiple optogenetic skeletal muscles, achieving remote command of walking, turning, plowing, and transport functions both at individual and collective levels. This work paves the way toward a class of biohybrid machines able to combine biological actuation and sensing with on-board computing.

DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.add1053