Although robots have become smarter and closer to humans in appearance, they are a long way from being truly “living”. Predictably, the line between humans and robots will become increasingly blurred. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Vermont and Tufts University successfully used frog cells to create new organisms that can behave programmable.
The new live robot consists of the skin and heart cells of frog embryos, designed by supercomputers in a stable form, which is then placed in a petri dish. Skin cells work to make small animals look like small animals, with four “leg” spots, while heart cells move around as each pump pushes.
“These are novel life machines,” said Joshua Bongard, lead researcher on the project. They are neither conventional robots nor known animal species. It is a new class of artifacts: a living programmable creature. “
The xenoid robot is made of frog skin cells (green) and heart cells (red). On the left is a computer blueprint designed, and on the right is the appearance of life forms. The researchers for the project said: “These live robots have a very broad range of applications that can do things that other robots can’t do, such as finding nasty compounds, radioactive contaminants, collecting microplastics in the ocean, swimming in arteries to scrape patches.” “
The study was published in the journal PNAS. The movements of the heterogeneous robots can be seen in the video below.