A multi degree of freedom skeletal muscle system stimulated via optical control is presented. These millimeter-scale, optically excitable 3D skeletal muscle bio-actuators are created by culturing genetically modified precursory muscle cells that are activated with light: optogenetics. These muscle bio-actuators are networked together to create a distributed muscle system. Muscle systems can manipulate loads having no fixed joint. These types of loads include shoulders, the mouth, and the jaw.

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