Virginia Tech inventors have developed a three-part part modular design for the control of bacteria-driven robotics. First, bacteria cell lines are engineered with synthetic gene circuits that control morphological (color) variations. This color intensity is then recorded by a small digital microscope that converts these outputs into a digital signal. Finally, this signal is sent to a robot microcontroller where it is processed into a behavioral subroutine. The available intellectual property is the system architecture and the associated design and software. The design and approach to bacteria-controlled robotics is revolutionary as it combines natural organic phenomena such as mutation, adaptation, and evolution with classic robotics programming and control. This dual approach provides the capacity to program behavior using the same tools that optimize behavior in the natural world.