Looking to pave the way for the production of nimble robots that can move more like living creatures than bulky androids, Army Research Laboratory scientists are embarking on fresh, high-risk studies in biohybrid robotics that could eventually fuse organic tissue with machines.

“This is wholly new to the lab, and the field itself is still relatively young. The publications associated with the first idea of successfully integrating muscle tissue or cells into some larger architecture to control motion with that same biological device didn’t really start until after 2000—and really spooled up in the early 2010s. So it’s very young, even as a discipline,” explained Dr. Dean Culver, a research scientist at the laboratory. “And that kind of gave us an opportunity to see how we could help move it forward and what expertise that we had that we could levy in that direction to really make an impact.”

In a recent interview, he…

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