Scientists at the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University unveiled on Monday the creation of the world’s first “self-replicating living robots.”
“The same team that built the first living robots (‘Xenobots,’ assembled from frog cells—reported in 2020) has discovered that these computer-designed and hand-assembled organisms can swim out into their tiny dish, find single cells, gather hundreds of them together, and assemble ‘baby’ Xenobots inside their Pac-Man-shaped ‘mouth’—that, a few days later, become new Xenobots that look and move just like themselves,” the schools said in a statement. “And then these new Xenobots can go out, find cells, and build copies of themselves. Again and again.”
Josh Bongard, a computer science professor and robotics expert at the University of Vermont and lead author of the study, suggested that people view robots the wrong way, focusing on what they are made out of vs. what they do.
“Most people think of robots as made of metals and ceramics but it’s not so much what a robot is made from but what it does, which is act on its own on behalf of people,” he said. “In that way it’s a robot but it’s also clearly an organism made from genetically unmodified frog cell.” – READ MORE