Science of Soft Robots – Interdisciplinary integration of mechatronics, material science, and bio-computing

A01-2 : Bio-soft robotics that implement self-modifying abilities of organisms

Group members

Leader Masahiro Shimizu (Osaka University)
Members Takuya Umedachi (The University of Tokyo)
Koh Hosoda (Osaka University)
Research collaborator Toshihiko Ogura (Tohoku University)


We aim to realize “grow” machines by constructing robots that include living muscle cells. In an organism, self-motions create mechanical stimuli, which cells physiologically and/or physically respond to, which improve the morphology and functions of the organism. To achieve advanced biohybrid soft robots, it is indispensable to create technologies that integrate and control the functions of cell groups. In particular, soft robots must be able to act as an actuator, sensor, and CPU by targeting muscle cells using biomaterials. We are the only group to adopt this viewpoint in developing its research plan.

Our research aims to grow an intelligent robot that includes mechanical and control systems by directly assembling cells, which are biological materials, as soft and intelligent parts, and implement intelligent robots as an autonomous decentralized system.