A robotic stingray with rat heart cells and gold skeleton!

Containing about 200,000 rat heart-muscle cells, the robot measures 0.63 inches long and weighs just 10 grams.

Updated: Jul 17, 2016, 01:00 AM IST
A robotic stingray with rat heart cells and gold skeleton!
Image credit: Karaghen Hudson and Michael Rosnach

New Delhi: This invention is a perfect example of nature-inspired robotics. Recently, a team of researchers at Harvard University's Department of Bioengineering and Applied Sciences has created a bio-hybrid robot with the help of muscles cells taken from rat hearts. In order to make the movement of this robotic stingray more natural, they layered rat cells over a gold skeleton and attached plastic fins.

For this incredible invention, researchers combined biological and mechanical engineering for presenting a new class of underwater robots.

According to Los Angeles Times senior author Kit Parker, a Harvard bioengineer, first got the idea for these tiny ray-bots when his young daughter tried to pet a stingray at an aquarium and it quickly and gracefully evaded her hand. He then thought of creating something that can move like that.

Containing about 200,000 rat heart-muscle cells, the robot measures 0.63 inches long and weighs just 10 grams. The robot swims in a liquid that is loaded with sugar that serves as fuel, the researchers said.