Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Slime Mould Robot

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Researchers from the UK and Japan have successfully linked the Physarum polycephalum slime to a six-legged robot. Physarum polycephalum shies away from light, preferring moist, dark and humid places -- and that preference was used to direct the robot away from light sources. In the experiment, the slime was remotely linked to the robot. Light sensors on the robot relayed signals via a computer to the slime mounted on a circuit board. The circuit board detected the movement of the slime, trying to get away from the light, and relayed the slime's responses back to the robot -- which used the directive to move away from the light source.

Researchers expect that they will be able to have the slime on board the robot, and will then have to conquer the problem of feeding the slime. Once accomplished, autonomous slimeborgs will proliferate and take over the world! (Bwah-ha-ha-ha!)

Related: The researchers' findings -- Robot Control: From Silicon Circuitry to Cells.

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