Core Technologies for ChemBioIT Roadmap: Shortlist
6. AUTONOMOUS ROBOTIC CONSTRUCTION
- Chemical robotics, Autonomous Experimentation and Swarm Chemistry
Chemical robots control the uptake, reactions and release of chemicals in complex environments and may be capable of autonomous actions, collective processing and communication with one another and an external IT system. Currently at the level of simple operations like drug release it is possible that they can be developed further to orchestrate complex constructions autonomously, either in defined spatial relationships or swarms.
- Additive manufacturing, 3D functional printing, steganography & related fab
The steady increase in flexibility, speed and resolution of 3D printing and other additive manufacturing technologies is allowing them to address increasingly complex fabrication tasks involving chemical and cellular systems. The 3D printing of complex cellular structures embedded in scaffolds or nutrient structures will soon be reality. Construction progress down to the molecular level requires an integration of autonomous self-assembling processes with larger scale external control.
- Multiscale and hybrid robotics interacting with chemical construction
Hierarchies of robots at different scales, each controlling the next layer of autonomy, could be employed to create efficient control information flow in multi-scale fabrication processes. Such hierarchical robot systems are still in their infancy. Hybrid robots interacting with chemical or biological systems have been explored.
- Evolutionary robotics involving functional material modification
This involves physical embodiments of robotic self-construction reaching down to the material components – building functional devices from non-functional materials.
- Embodiment and chemical information encoding in robotic construction systems
The use of physical and chemical information to direct or codirect the process of construction of/by autonomous robotic systems may provide significant gains in terms of avoiding complex digital computations and interface conversions, taking advantage of the inherent computational capabilities of the embodiment. Taking advantage of such principles in a mixed signal processing context , with both chemical and electronic information and exploring principles for effective decompositions is one of the topics here.