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MiV Seminar: Shoji Takeuchi "Biohybrid Robotics"

Event Type
NSF Expeditions - Mind in Vitro
2405 Siebel Center for Computer Science and Zoom - see link
wifi event
Jun 18, 2024   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Shoji Takeuchi
Gregory Pluta
Originating Calendar
Mind in Vitro: an NSF Expedition In Computing


Humanity has developed various systems and technologies to meet the needs of society, from humanoid robots and smartphones to self-driving cars. However, we have yet to fully harness the unique functions found in nature for industrial use. For instance, developing artificial constructs that replicate the exceptional functionalities of living organisms—such as the ultra-sensitive and highly selective olfactory sensors found in dogs and insects, reactors like cells that can self-replicate and self-repair, or the energy-efficient movements and information processing of muscles and brains—presents significant challenges.

One approach to solving these challenges is to integrate actual biological parts found in nature with artificial materials to create systems that can be applied in the real world if artificial means alone prove insufficient. This approach is embodied in the concept of "biohybrid" systems.

Biohybrid (BH) systems are composed of four key technological

elements: (1) BH Sensors, (2) BH Reactors, (3) BH Actuators, and (4) BH Processors. Sensors can detect substances at the molecular level with high sensitivity using proteins or cells, making them applicable for diagnosing health conditions through breath analysis or detecting the scent of explosives. Reactors can mimic biological reactions, offering devices that can be applied in drug discovery models or as artificial organs for transplant medicine. Actuators contribute to silent, high-efficiency robotic actuators and research into cultured meat production without relying on livestock. Processors, as an advanced form of neuro-engineering, are envisioned to function as ultra-efficient logical computation devices capable of brain-like processing. This presentation aims to discuss the integration of these device technologies within biohybrid robotics.


Shoji Takeuchi received the B.E, M.E., and Dr. Eng. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 1995, 1997, and 2000, respectively. He is currently a Professor in Department of Mechano-Informatics, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, University of Tokyo. He has authored more than

230 peer-reviewed publications and filed over 140 patents. He is now the leader of Japan's first national project on cultured meat, and is working on the realization of cultured steak meat. He has been recognized with numerous honors including Young Scientists' Prize, the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2008, the JSPS prize from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in 2010, ACS Analytical Chemistry Young Innovator Awards in 2015, and  UNESCO Netexplo Award Winner 2019. His current research interests include cultured meat, 3D tissue fabrication, bioMEMS, implantable devices, artificial lipid bilayer systems, and biohybrid machines.

Part of the Illinois Computer Science Speakers Series. 

Faculty Host: Taher Saif

Food will be provided after the seminar.

If accommodation is required, please email <communications@cs.illinois.edu>. Someone from our staff will contact you to discuss your specific needs.


link for robots only