EBICS at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

From April 6-8th, 2018 EBICS trainees presented their demos of 3D printing, Biobots, and light-controlled synthetic robots, at the Walter E Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Please find supplementary information here, including a downloadable version of the handout. We hope you enjoyed your time at the festival!

Click here for pictures of the festival. Thank you for a successful event! 



What are common materials for building machines?

Wood, Metal, Plastics, Glass, Ceramics


What materials can dynamically sense, process, and respond to environmental signals in real-time?

Biological materials (Example: living cells)


What can we build with biological materials?

Machines that self-assemble, self-heal...

Learn more about the motivation for “Building with Biology”


What is a robot?

A device that autonomously senses its environment, processes this information, and responds to it in real-time


What is a bio-bot?

A robot that uses biological materials to perform one or all of these functions


We can control our bio-bots with pulses of electricity or light


Learn more about How Bio-Bots Work



What advantages do bio-bots have over robots made with “traditional” synthetic materials?

They can use their adaptive functionalities to target dynamic engineering problems!


Do researchers think about the ethical implications of building bio-bots?

Absolutely – the National Science Foundation’s EBICS center engages in active dialogue with experts and the public regarding ethical issues arising from the center’s research.


Try out our ethics modules here



Selected Research Features:
NPR: Science Friday: For These Robots, Squishy is Superior
NPR Science Friday: Predicting the Future of Robotics
Light illuminates the way for bio-bots
NSF Science Nation – These BioBots show some real muscle
Do The Impossible – Engineering at Illinois
BioBots research also featured in:

Popular ScienceForbesNBCYahooPopular MechanicsGizmodoEngadgetTechCrunchMIT Technology ReviewScience DailyThe VergeRed OrbitFrench TribuneMashableAtlas of Science and many other news sources!

Try searching on this website to see more about what EBICS is doing: Search


Follow EBICS researcher @DrRituRaman on Twitter to keep up with biobots research at the USA Science & Engineering Festival