Boffins put ‘living fungus’ skin on robot after being inspired by The Terminator

Mad scientists have been inspired by The Terminator films and are now adding actual fungus to potentially killer robots.

A pair of boffins from the Polytechnic University of Valencia have devised a plan to create a “skin” for robots made out of fungus.

And, in their report which is still being peer reviewed, they admit that they were inspired by The Terminator.

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The report was written by Antoni Gandia and Andrew Adamatzky – the latter is from the Unconventional Computing Laboratory in Bristol, UK.

It's even joked that the authors declare “no conflict of interest”, except for their shared “enthusiasm as fans of the Terminator series”.

They wrote: “The mycelium, cultivated using established techniques, was homogeneously grown on the cyborg model’s surface, demonstrating robust reactivity to various stimuli such as light exposure and touch.

This innovative merger points towards the future of sustainable biomaterials and the potential integration of these materials into new and existing technologies.

“The fusion of organic and inorganic materials is not a new concept in science.

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“In fact, the pursuit of this fusion has been a driving force behind numerous technological innovations, from the development of bio-electronics to the creation of synthetic organisms.

“However, the potential of harnessing the power of fungi, specifically their mycelium networks, sensorial fusion, information processing and decision making is a relatively novel exploration.”

Worryingly, the pair actually did do the experience on an 18cm replica of the T-800 series Terminator robot, made famous by the films.

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The fungus used on the robot did show “robust growth” and managed to “successfully colonise” the entire surface of the model.

They added: “This resulted in a visually striking juxtaposition of the organic mycelium and the inorganic cyborg model, symbolising the fusion of biology and technology.”

Not worrying for the human population of Earth, at all.

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