The days of sci-fi vs reality have now evolved into a coexistence rather than a separation of ideas and reality.
The advancements in technology are exponentially increasing as quickly as they can be imagined.
The question that now lingers is this… Are biobots the future of the military?
Allison Barrie with Fox News.com raises a compelling question, “Will US cyborgs be the next to deploy?” Published July 07,2014
“A new cyborg – part machine and part biological muscle – has taken its first steps.
“The team has shot video of the biobot flexing its muscles to propel itself across a lab.”
“University of Illinois researchers, in a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, say their tiny new creature is the first robot that uses live muscle for power. The researchers, with funding from the National Science Foundation, have created a muscle-powered biological machine that can be controlled with an electric current.”
“It could lead to a new generation of biological robots, or “biobots.” “
“Military robots have been on the U.S. military’s table for a while. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been pioneering robot research for many years, and Gen. Robert Cone, commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, announced in January that he was tasked with considering the reduction of brigade combat teams from 4,000 to 3,000 soldiers – and replacing the human personnel with robots.”
Some researchers believe the solution will be to combine the machine with living tissue to create Terminator-style cyborgs. It’s still the stuff of science fiction, but the tiny biobots could be a key step forward.”
“The new biobot’s design is similar to the muscle, tendon and bone systems in animals. It moves when an electrical current is applied to the muscle, causing it to contract.
Lab-grown muscle cells are grown into a strip, and 3-D printers are used to create hydrogel “backbones” that bend like joints and provide strength like bone. The strip of muscle is grafted onto the backbone, just as tendons attach muscle to bone.
The University of Illinois team has done extensive research on blending biological tissue with machines. Its earlier cyborgs were smaller than a centimeter and combined flexible 3-D printed hydrogels with living cells.”
In a report from News Bureau Illinois 06/30/2014 Liz Alhberg, Physical Science Editor Published an article “Muscle-powered biobots walk on command.”
The lead study researcher Rashid Bashir, University of Illinios,
“Biological actuation driven by cells is a fundamental need for any kind of biological machine you want to build,” said study leader.
I have been following the miracles and innovation of 3-D printer technology and advancements for a few years now.
I find myself in awe at the progress that has been made in such a short amount of time. Who would have ever thought we could have the technology that is being developed by the use of a 3-D printer?
We now can create living tissue that can grow and integrate with the patients body with no tissue rejection from the donor.
The crossover from medical miracles to military implementation is a very fine line. One of which I am positive overlap and intertwine.
If this research and development can better humanity without losing the proper perspective of what makes us human, then I can morally support this technology.
I pray that the Engineers and Developers are able to maintain a proper prescriptive with the respect for human life.