A team of scientists used stem cells to create living robots

A team of scientists in the US has created the world’s first-ever living robots. They published their breakthrough in a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University said the robots are “neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It’s a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.”

The researchers took stem cells from the embryos of African clawed frogs and placed them into small robots. The robots are programmable and will work according to the instructions given. Each bot, named xenobot, is only a millimeter long. They move in water by using their two chubby limbs. On the other hand, another xenobot has a pouch that it can use to carry a small weight.

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The bots are made from heart cells, which give them the ability to contract and relax at the same time and skin cells that give them a more firm formation. After the bot is let free into its surrounding environment, it has enough energy to keep moving for up to 10 days. The team says in the paper that “this is the first time humans have been able to create “completely biological machines from the ground up”.

Why are these living robots so important?

Firstly, the xenobots have the ability to heal themselves if they get damaged. Since they are made of living tissue (cells), they die once they stop working. Lastly, the team of researchers hopes that these living robots could one day be used to deliver medicine inside our bodies, clean pollution from the oceans and digest toxic materials.

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What do you think about these xenobots? Are there any ethicals that you think we should be concerned about? Will the bots will become useful to society like the team hopes? Then, let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Continue to check out Maticstoday for the latest news items, product reviews, security practices, and video game discussions.

Main Image Source: Douglas Blackiston, Tufts University