controlled by slime mold has been created at the University of
Southampton, UK. The bright
yellow Physarum polycephalum slime mold
fears light. Researchers grew a star-shaped bit of the fungi, attached
some sensors connected to a cpu for controlling robotic legs. When
light is shined on the points of the star-shaped mold, the computer
senses the mold's movements which in turn activates robotic legs as the
slime mold wants to get away from the light.
We covered this in an earlier article that referenced Roland
The previous story has a link to paper with more details. Despite all
the ariticles and the paper, I'm still not clear on what the resulting
behavior of the robot is. Everyone seems more fascinated by the slime
than the robot! :)
Sorry about the dupe.
The usefulness of this cyborg is probably very minimal at this point.
It sounds like it doesn't really walk unless you were to shine a light
sequentially on the bits of the mold to force the legs to move the way
you want them to move. The real usefulness is just the integration of
the mold to the computer to control the legs. Perhaps if more research
were done the mold could be arranged into some sort of neural network
albiet a slow one, to control the legs in some sort of intelligent way.
Or perhaps this is a precursor to integrating some other bio-material
to a cpu. Anyway, I'd agree that this current slime bot is not very
useful other than to show that there may be some potential in it.