In the laboratories of Harvard University, biologists and programmers are conducting amazing experiments to create a new kind of robot – xenobots. These cellular robots, composed entirely of living cells, are able to perform various tasks and even self-reproduce. Although they cannot eat or reproduce, xenobots have amazing abilities such as swimming, carrying objects, and working together in groups.
The researchers began their work several years ago when they conducted a series of experiments with cells from spurred frog embryos. They took embryonic cells and placed them in a solution where they formed spheres and acquired cilia. In this way, the scientists created xenobots made up of heart muscle and skin cells. Thanks to this, they can move and keep their shape.
However, in order for the xenobots to perform more complex actions, the researchers decided to connect artificial intelligence. And this led to surprising results. When the shape of a group of cells was changed, the xenobots became capable of self-reproduction. In addition, they were able to move light particles together to form clumps.
These findings were published in the journal Biophysics and computational biology, where the researchers noted that xenobots represent a unique symbiosis between robotics and biology. They have the potential for a variety of applications, such as cleaning pollution from the world’s oceans and delivering drugs to the human body. Scientists urge the public not to be afraid of the new technology, as xenobots are currently fully controlled and are just groups of cells in a petri dish.
Currently, xenobots can create no more than four generations. Each generation takes on a shape that is close to spherical, making further self-reproduction difficult. However, the remarkable speed of their “evolution” is impressive – a frog cell can turn into a xenobot in just a few days.
Xenobots are a new step in the development of robotics and biology. They open up new possibilities for creating robots that can perform complex tasks and work collaboratively. The future applications of xenobots in various fields promise to be exciting and promising.