Having difficulty getting your robot parts to work as planned? Turn to nature -- or better yet, look inside yourself. After all, where better to find inspiration than the humans that the machines will one day enslave, right? Researchers at Georgia Tech have been working to develop a system to control cameras in robots that utilizes similar functionality as human muscle. Says Ph.D. candidate Joshua Schultz,
The actuators developed in our lab embody many properties in common with biological muscle, especially a cellular structure. Essentially, in the human eye muscles are controlled by neural impulses. Eventually, the actuators we are developing will be used to capture the kinematics and performance of the human eye.
The team recently showed off their work at the EEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics in Rome. When fully developed, they anticipate that the piezoelectric system could be used for MRI-based surgery, rehabilitation and research of the human eye.