There’s a team of scientists who basically discovered live robots. You read that right. They found a new purpose for living cells, which they took from frog embryos, and they constructed new life forms. These life forms were named Xenobots, and they can move in small places and carry stuff, too. They also want to try to see if they are useful in medicine.
Apparently, they can heal themselves after they’re cut, which gives them a longer life span. They are not a species of animals, and they are not robots in a real way. As Joshua Bongard states, “It’s a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.” He is a computer scientist at the University of Vermont.
About the living robots made with frog cells
A supercomputer developed these live robots at UVM. The idea behind this creation is not a new one. But it is the first time they actually improved it from scratch. The team was led by doctoral student Sam Kriegman, who used an evolutionary algorithm to develop thousands of designs for these new life forms.
They gave the program the basic rules about biophysics about the frog skin and the cardiac cells. They tested about a hundred algorithms to find the best design. Then, the team worked with microsurgeons to transfer the silicon designs into life. They took the stem cells from Xenopus lavevis, an African frog. Then the embryos were assembled in body forms, so the cells began to work.
Almost everything we see today is made out of steel, silicon, or plastic. While it’s true that the material is durable, it also creates human health problems. Bongard stated that the living tissues degrade quickly. Also, these living robots made with frog cells could help us live a healthier life. More research will be conducted.