Welcome to the robotic age. Long-term federal investments in fundamental science and engineering research, and the researchers who pursue them, have led to novel machines that safely partner with people in nearly every environment. Soon, helping hands are as likely to be made of metal and plastic as flesh and bone. While roboticists figure out the final frontiers of programming, materials development and systems challenges, why not throw some robot motivational posters up on the walls? Find out more in this Special Report.
Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology
For Jessy Grizzle, a robotics engineer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (UM), events like the 2011 earthquake in Turkey remind him of the importance of his work -- developing feedback and control algorithms that one day will give bipedal robots the balance needed to conduct search and rescue missions in dangerous environments. Find out more in this discovery.
Credit: University of Michigan
From 3-D bioprinting that could one day generate heart tissue to origami-inspired structures built for medicine and space exploration, a new set of educational videos continues an exploration begun three years ago inside the creative process that leads to innovation. Find out more in this Special Report.
Credit: NBC Universal, NSF and the United States Patent and Trademark Office
The Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport (CBET) Systems of the Directorate for Engineering supports innovative research and education in the fields of chemical engineering, biotechnology, bioengineering, and environmental engineering, and in areas that involve the transformation and/or transport of matter and energy by chemical, thermal or mechanical means.
The Science and Technology Centers (STCs): Integrative Partnerships program supports innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate.
March 7, 2016
These BioBots show some real muscle
These tiny living machines are being groomed for big jobs down the road
WARNING: THIS VIDEO HAS SCENES WITH FLASHING LIGHTS.
The tiny BioBots engineered at one NSF-funded Science and Technology Center (STC) move a bit like inchworms, but they represent giant strides in science and engineering. They can be controlled with electrical or optical signals and use muscle tissue for power.
The mission of the STC on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) is to develop the science and technology needed to engineer clusters of living cells. This will eventually help mankind address challenges in health, security and the environment. EBICS researchers at the forefront of this novel and multidisciplinary field are committed to sharing responsible and ethically conscious practices for forward engineering biological machines.
Currently, researchers are focused on BioBots that mimic the body, but, perhaps one day, biological machines could replace animals for drug testing, or be used to detect and neutralize toxins in the environment or even sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #0939511, NSF Science and Technology Center: Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.