London, September 7 (ANI): A team of scientists at the University of the West of England (UWE) is planning to make a 'Plasmobot', a complete robot made out of a plasmodium slime mould.
Though not famed for their intellect, single-celled organisms have already demonstrated a surprising degree of intelligence.
In recent years, single-celled organisms have been used to control six-legged robots, but according to a report in New Scientist, Andrew Adamatzky at UWE wants to go one step further by making a complete "robot" out of a plasmodium slime mould, Physarum polycephalum, a commonly occurring mould that moves towards food sources such as bacteria and fungi, and shies away from light.
Affectionately dubbed 'Plasmobot', it will be "programmed" using light and electromagnetic stimuli to trigger chemical reactions similar to a complex piece of chemistry called the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, which Adamatzky previously used to build liquid logic gates for a synthetic brain.
By understanding and manipulating these reactions, says Adamatzky, it should be possible to program Plasmobot to move in certain ways, to "pick up" objects by engulfing them and even assemble them.
It should be possible to program it to move, to pick up objects and even assemble them
Initially, Plasmobot will work with and manipulate tiny pieces of foam, because they "easily float on the slime," said Adamatzky.
"The long-term aim is to use such robots to help assemble the components of micromachines," he said. (ANI)