there are exciting things going on in the fields of robotics, biomimetics, and biohybrids, but for some reason researchers in these fields tend to communicate their important results via conference proceedings rather than high profile journals. So when I went to the conference Living Machines at London in July, I realised that there are lots of things that hadn't shown up in the pages of Nature and Science. I haven't really looked at these issues since publishing "Biotronik" ten years ago - a book in German which looked at biohybrids and the interface between biology and electronics.
Trying to make up for lost time, I wrote a feature about these things, which is out today in Current Biology:
Towards living machines
Current Biology, Volume 23, Issue 18, R821-R823, 23 September 2013 doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.004
Vicky Vouloutsi from Barcelona held an intriguing talk about programming social behaviour on the established android system iCub (I could have benefited from such programming in my early life too!), so I took a snap of her and her pet: