A working robot controlled by a slime mould, and designed and built in ECS-Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, will play a starring role in a major BBC4/Discovery Channel feature to be aired in the autumn.
A production team from BBC Scotland spent a whole day in ECS this week, filming with Dr Klaus-Peter Zauner and Dr Soichiro Tsuda, who developed the robot. Its central innovation is that it features a biochip which encapsulates a plasmodial cell of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum which is used to control the robot’s movements. An electronic interface enables the slim mould cell to be connected to a computer in order to monitor local mechanical oscillations in the cell and it also provides stimulation for the slime mould with light signals, causing the movement of the robot.
Maybe not a good idea to pursue Dalek technology?