Like the idea of combining biological cells and digital. At a kind of fundamental layer. A synthetic Biology of sorts.
Now You Can 'Build Your Own' Bio-Bot
By University of Illinois News Bureau
February 16, 2017
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have released their protocol for designing and building "bio-bots" powered by muscle cells and controlled with light and electrical signals.
They say the bio-bots are less than a centimeter in size and made of flexible three-dimensionally (3D)-printed hydrogels and living cells. .... "
In 2012, the researchers demonstrated the bio-bots' ability to move on their own, powered by contracting heart cells from rats. A light-responsive skeletal muscle cell was genetically engineered to contract when stimulated by pulses of a certain wavelength of blue light. The skeletal muscle tissue was then coupled to a 3D-printed skeleton that moves in the direction of the optical pulses. ... "