Scientists at the University of West England in UK are working on designing a total biological robot without using any silicon parts, by utilizing the vegetative stage of slime mold. This is a common type of mold that can live in damp indoor or outdoor spaces.
The research is based on the principle that the mold has computational capabilities, such as choosing the shortest path between points or making some other logical calculations. Earlier experiments also showed that the mold has the ability to transport objects.
The plasmodium robot will have the ability to sense objects, span in the most efficient and shortest route, and tranport objects at the same time according to a preprogrammed path. When developed, they will have parallel input and output, a sensor network and a supercomputer computig capabilities.
The team indicates that the research is still in very early stages for harnessing the computational power of mold. The future possible applications of plasmobots include tiny robots that can deliver small quantity of chemicals to a target, such as drugs, or making micro machines. In addition, the possible uses of using a tiny network of intelligent and controllable robots seems huge. The network of tiny robots can for example live on human skin as a live computer performing many tasks the researchers say.