As part of a ground breaking AI project, scientists develop a specialized bacteria that can control robots and it’s all in the name of research.
That’s right, a team of scientists form Virginia Tech have actually developed a type of bacteria that can utilize a robotic body to move around towards its food. This is probably the most exciting project in quite some time now, because it will be truly amazing to provide bacteria with an extension of their bodies, so that their behavior can be monitored on a large scale.
Furthermore, since the bacteria are themselves a product of bioengineering and not part of a natural species, by being able to observe their behavior in relation to their prey and community, the researchers could build on that and develop highly specialized bacteria that could be utilized for various purposes, such as creating tailor-made species that could neutralize polluting substances from water banks for example.
Warren Ruder, Virginia Tech researcher and the author of the study explains that they have succeeded in replacing the “brain” of a robotic car with live bacteria, that were provided with space to develop. But their movement could be translated to the car and this could enable scientists to conduct much more detailed research o bacterial behavior.
The scientists tempted the bacteria with sugary foods, so that they could track their strategies for reaching it and it seems that bacteria are actually capable of stalking their prey and then swoop in when they find the right moment to act.
“We are a long, long way from creating, nor is it our mission to create, the biologic-robotic machines of Robocop or The Terminator.” said the Virginia Tech team when asked if such experiment could pose any dangers to human society.
While it might seem that a robotic car controlled by microscopic products of bioengineering could successfully be the focus of a Sci-Fi end of the world movie, this experiment will actually have significant contributions to future research that could lead to a cleaner, safer tomorrow, as it could be a key element in the fight against vicious diseases and devastating pollution.
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