Team:NAWI Graz/Demonstrate


Here we are able to show that bacteria can control a robot. Our experimental setup provides an extraordinarily safe procedure as the bacterial culture and the moving robot are spatially separated from each other.

We have managed to show that our project could work. Each part in itself is functional: The bioreactor offers optimal conditions for the microorganisms. To keep the optical density of the bacterial culture in range, we combined various hardware parts into a fully functioning system. The control system represents a communication hub between the hardware components of the project. The fluorescence chamber is a self-built measuring instrument for determining the intensity of protein fluorescence. Eventually, the robot solves all tasks given to it, as can be seen in video 1. It shows a test run, in which the robot acts in its natural environment. It is connected to the control system server, but the microbiological part of the system is carried out by a computer that simulates a reaction of the microorganisms. In contrast, video 2 shows a preliminary experiment in which the system completely merges into a biohybrid entity.

Vid. 1: A Thymio II combined with a Raspberry Pi is driving around in an arena according to signals sent from a simulated bacterial culture.
Vid. 2: The modified Thymio robot reacts to the signals read from a fluorescing bacterial culture.