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When we think of robots, we likely think of metal or plastic parts, synthetic actuators and/or sensors. One lab is aiming to change all that by using muscular and neurologic tissues instead, with the goal of creating completely organic, sustainable, and programmable biorobots. The lab is called the Biohybrid and Organic Robotics Group (B.O.R.G) and is led by Victoria Webster-Wood, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She joins us today to discuss her research in this exciting field.

The benefits of biorobots are numerous. Traditional robots are fragile – if a robot made of traditional materials tips over, it could easily break or have one of its components dislodged. If we or another animal fall over, our pride may be wounded, but the fat and muscle on our body often prevents our bodies from being seriously damaged. Having biorobots made from these materials could allow biorobots to exist in the natural world in a new and safer way. Robots could exist in ecosystems, assisting humans with search and rescue missions, environmental monitoring, and biomedical research. Tune in to find out how exactly these robots are designed, maintained, and when we might expect to see them out in the world.

For more information, please visit www.engineering.cmu.edu/borg.

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