Researchers have created robots from stem cells of frogs, capable of reproducing by accumulating new stem cells which in turn will give rise to robots. And so on over several generations. A wonderful experience that can tell us about the origins of life.
For several years, researchers have been trying to develop xenobots made up of living cells. In 2020, a team from the University of Vermont and Tufts University successfully createdStarting from A frog, able to move independently and self-organize to perform various tasks (read below). Today, a new step has been taken with xenobots that can produce new generations of robots and thus reproduce like a living being.
Piles of stem cells that turn into robots
At first, as before, we have xenobots made up of groups of frog stem cells Xenopus laevis (xenopus smooth). Each cluster, about half a millimeter in diameter, contains about 3,000 stem cells. These xenobots are then immersed in a “bath” of 60,000 new stem cells, and there’s a surprise: they begin to form “mounds” of stem cells, large enough that they, in turn, become independent. Reproduction stops when we stop adding new stem cells.
each cycle ofHowever, it produces smaller offspring, so after a while the new robots are no longer viable (less than 50 cells). To solve this problem, researchers turned to To determine if there is an optimal form of assembly. Using an algorithm, they were able to pre-select the initial configuration that is most likely to give the largest number of generations. Verdict: Pac-Man-shaped robots are the most efficient, with “babies” on average 149% larger than spherical robots. By testing this hypothesis, the researchers actually found that the Pac-Man robots produced four generations of xenobots, as opposed to just two for the globular robots.
Create bots built for measurement with live ‘kits’
« L ‘. what It is saving material. It tells each cell exactly what components it can contain. The rules that govern the functioning of newly arranged cells are similar to programs The researchers are now planning to build a “library” of modules from which we draw functions to create a “super robot” with all the required properties.I use computer hardware and software, explains Michael Levine, co-author of the study published in
The beginning of life on Earth?
« This is the first time that multicellular organisms self-replicate in a way that does not involve the growth of body cells Michael Levine is excited. However, this biological process can be involved in. « It has been proven that the components They can assemble and act like enzymes to help synthesize more RNA. […] Other non-biological chemicals also create copies of themselves in this way. researcher says.
A living robot made of cells
SubjectPosted on 01/19/2020
Researchers have created robots from the stem cells of frogs, able to move independently and self-organize to perform various tasks. However, humans’ creation of beings not found in nature raises concerns about misappropriation and ethical issues.
the manNot for tomorrow yet, but the first living robot created from the stem cells of frogs has just seen the light of day. ” This is neither a traditional nor a new robot An animal, but a completely new programmable life form Joshua Bongard, Engineer, welcomes you to at the University of Vermont and co-designer of the project. These xenorobots, as the researchers called them, are less than a millimeter long and can move independently, survive weeks without food, and work together.
A xenorobot is a reprogrammable organism, designed from stem cells. © University of Vermont
Age from 10 days to several weeks
These xenorobots are not like traditional animal robots or robots. They are like a fileinforms, cells are organized according to how they are programmed. Stem cells are first taken from A African Xenopus laevis (Hence their name). A sophisticated algorithm generates thousands of possible combinations with “passive” cells (skin cells) and “active” cells (heart cells), the latter ensuring the mobility of the biorobot thanks to its contractions. After incubation, the cells are grouped according to the patterns he draws . Thus it is possible that As per the required task. Researchers have found, for example, that some configurations are more or less fast or that they cause robots to organize themselves to assemble materials or manipulate objects.
Each xenorobot has enough energy to survive on its own for 10 days, but may extend its lifespan for several weeks in an enriched environment.Researchers say. Xenorobots are also able to “heal” wounds on their own.
Neuron robots, endowed with cognitive abilities
These xenorobots have something to dream about: they can for exampleIn the human body or clean up the plaques in a before it decomposes naturally. They can also collect plastic from the ocean, or radioactive or identify particles in environments inaccessible to humans. But this technology presents even more surprising possibilities. By building them from neurons and sensory cells, xenorobots can be endowed with cognitive abilities and become “intelligent.”
Will robots turn on us?
Visions that have cause for concern, some alarming, of potential hijacking of such robots (the fear is fueled by the fact that the project is partly funded by DARPA, the research arm of the US military). Even if they are not yet able to reproduce or evolve, we can imagine colonies of robots deciding on their own to invade an organism,or destroy things. Currently, their behavior is driven by their determination, which is determined by algorithms. Except that AI is a true black box, its ins and outs are slipping away from us more and more. The creation of entirely new organisms outside of all biological evolution raises many ethical questions. Something to feed upcoming science fiction movies.
“Wannabe internet buff. Future teen idol. Hardcore zombie guru. Gamer. Avid creator. Entrepreneur. Bacon ninja.”