Can biological robots be used to benefit society without inviting dystopian scenarios commonly portrayed in science fiction? Ethicist and Philosopher Insoo Hyun asks this big question to mechanical engineer Ritu Raman.

Ritu’s research is focused on restoring mobility for individuals who've lost it due to illness or trauma using an innovative approach that merges living cells with engineered structures to build muscle-powered robots. Ritu believes biological robots can play a role in helping to restore ways in which humans rely on a combination of skeletal muscle and the nervous system to navigate our dynamic world.

Interestingly, Ritu draws inspiration from science fiction, especially comic books. This fusion of biology, sci-fi and engineering has the potential to produce a wide range of applications in medicine and beyond. This conversation offers a thoughtful and enlightening perspective on this pioneering research.