Biohybrid sea slug robot
Biohybrid robot powered by sea slug muscle. Image courtesy of Victoria Webster
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A sea slug might seem an unlikely source for robot parts. But according to the researchers, sea slugs are exceptionally tough creatures, and that toughness extends down to the cellular level. In the chilly Pacific Ocean, sea hares endure large swings in temperature, salinity, and habitat as tides move them between deep water and shallow pools. This makes the slug’s muscles more adaptable than those of many other species in terms of the conditions in which they can operate.

“We’re building a living machine—a biohybrid robot that’s not completely organic—yet,” Victoria Webster, the PhD student who is leading the research, said in a statement.

The Aplysia californica, or sea hare, a species of sea slug
The Aplysia californica, or sea hare, a species of sea slug. Image by Jerry Kirkhart

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