New technology helps "bio-bots" walk

By Anna Carrera

Published 07/02 2014 05:48PM

Updated 07/08 2014 12:12PM

URBANA -- Some University of Illinois students are using technology to help people. They've made tiny robots that are less than a centimeter long. And the "bio-bots" can walk. They're made with living cells, plus flexible gel from a 3D printer. Students who have been working on the project say, even though they're finished some parts, there's still more work to do.

"Engineers have been using very traditional materials, like plastics and metals to be building for different kind of systems," said University of Illinois graduate student Ritu Raman. "We want to take that to the next step and say, 'Now we know how to build with cells.'"

"People are really motivated by what we could do with this and this whole concept of creating a new biology and a new way to engineer living things in a way that we hadn't thought about before," said University of Illinois graduate student Caroline Cvetkovic.

The team hopes to use bio-bots with medical technology as well as other projects like environmental research. 

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