Science & Technology

Scientists have created a living “Zenobot” that replicates itself

In nature, most organisms breed by mating offspring or by cloning themselves. However, a new propagation mode is emerging. New living robots can self-replicate by clustering cells and creating their own sect.

Let’s break down what that really means. These robots, called Xenobots, are synthetic organisms made from clusters of stem cells scraped from Xenopus embryos. Using artificial intelligence, a team of engineers and computer scientists from the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and Harvard University tested different body shapes of living robots. They found that a C-shape like Pac-Man makes small cell masses the most efficient in self-renewal.

Even if researchers say that bots can self-replicate, that doesn’t mean they actually duplicate. What they mean is that in their C-shaped formation, the clusters can be propelled around the Petri dish with the help of hairy cilia on the outside of each cell. Upon migration, the cluster collects other floating cells and bundles them until they form their own heterologous bot. But this process doesn’t last forever. Cells could only do this for several generations of heterologous bots.

“Most people think that robots are made of metal or ceramic, but what they are doing, not what they are made of, it acts on their behalf.” Josh Bongard, a professor of computer science and robotics, says.He said he was an expert at the University of Vermont and the lead author of the study. CNN.. “That’s right, it’s a robot, but it’s also obviously an organism made from unmodified frog cells.”

[Related: LEO the robot can float like a butterfly and balance on a beam]

The team introduced a new robot concept in a paper published earlier last year. Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and first created their Xenobot Earlier this year.. However, this form of self-replication is a new development and is not done by other organisms. However, heterogeneous bots will spontaneously collapse after a few weeks. New findings have recently been published PNAS..

“People have long thought that we’ve come up with all the ways we can recreate or duplicate life, but this is something we’ve never seen before,” said Xenobot’s “parent.” Douglas Blackliston, co-author of Tufts University, said: statement Published by the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

Having a self-replicating machine has many potentials in both science and medicine, Bongard said. Parents.. “These are very small, biodegradable and biocompatible machines, and I’m completely happy with freshwater,” he says, and heterogeneous bots collect microplastics from waterways and fix electrical circuits. I added that I can do it.

Co-authors said that these self-organizing robots can also provide insights that some species, such as frogs and salamanders, can regenerate parts of the body, while humans can regenerate only parts of the skin and liver. Sam Kriegman, an engineer at Tufts University, said. insider.. He added that many future experiments are lined up for the robots they live in, but now the heterogeneous bots are “just motor balls”.



Scientists have created a living “Zenobot” that replicates itself

https://www.popsci.com/science/xenobots-synthetic-life-form-reproduce/ Scientists have created a living “Zenobot” that replicates itself

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