Scientists create a robot made entirely of living cells

CB5C8483-EA0D-4143-8D92-38A181198D63

A Xenobot, 650-750 microns in diameter. The “legs” help it shuffle around in the petri dish.

 ‘Xenobots’ could be used to clean up microplastics or deliver medication in the body

Scientists have unveiled the first ever “living robot,” an organism made up of living cells, which can move around, carry payloads, and even heal itself.

“All of the computational people on the project, myself included, were flabbergasted,” said Joshua Bongard, a computer scientist at the University of Vermont.

“We didn’t realize that this was possible.”

Teams from the University of Vermont and Tufts University worked together to build what they’re calling “xenobots,” which are about the size of a grain of salt and are made up of the heart and skin cells from frogs.

Continue reading… “Scientists create a robot made entirely of living cells”

0

Artificial lifeforms designed by supercomputers are fully programmable

93E60B54-1CC9-473E-AA8A-7F08F1685A26

This living organism was designed by a supercomputer and assembled in the labSam Kriegman, UVM

Robots are made to mimic living creatures, and as smart as they’re becoming, we can still look at them and understand that they aren’t “living” in any real sense. But that line is now beginning to blur. Researchers at the University of Vermont and Tufts University have essentially created new creatures from frog cells, complete with programmable behaviors.

The new living robots are made of skin and heart cells taken from frog embryos, assembled into stable forms designed by a supercomputer and set loose in a Petri dish. The skin cells work to give the little critters their shape – which kind of resembles a blob with four “legs” – while the heart cells push them around with every pump.

“These are novel living machines,” says Joshua Bongard, co-lead researcher on the project. “They’re neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It’s a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.”

Continue reading… “Artificial lifeforms designed by supercomputers are fully programmable”

0