Molecular robotics is one of emerging technologies in nano-bio field. The technology enables us to assemble micro robots with bio molecules such as DNA, microtubules and motor proteins as like life things. “Amoeba-type robots” and “artificial muscle prototype” have been developed in a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Molecular Robotics”(No. 2403) of The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan, so far.
In near future, in addition to artificial cells and artificial muscles, hybrid type molecular robots, integration of bio-molecule devices and electro-mechanical devices will be emerging. The hybrid-type molecular robots may be capable of signaling internal information to outside with bio-energy in human body as well as controlling human body according to external information. A kind of “cyborg”, although it is just a dream now, might be feasible if matured the molecular robotics technology.
In contrast to the rapid development of molecular robotics technology, little discussion has made about the issues of ethics, legal, economics and education, so far. Why the molecular robotics technology needs ethics, guideline and legal? What kinds of molecular robotics applications will be developed? When the applications will be emerging? How the applications will give an impact to economy? What kinds of educational background will be needed to develop the applications?
In this project, we will discuss the above issues with the researchers of ethics, technology assessment, regulatory science and others. Any students and scholars who will be interested in the project are welcome.