Spinal cord gives bio-bots walking rhythm

Miniature biological robots are making greater strides than ever, thanks to the spinal cord directing their steps. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers developed the tiny walking ‘spinobots,’ powered by rat muscle and spinal cord tissue on a soft, 3D-printed hydrogel skeleton. While previous generations of biological robots, or bio-bots, could move forward by simple muscle contraction, the integration of the spinal cord gives them a more natural walking rhythm.