Fifteen days into the new decade and scientists from the University of Vermont have already created what they dubbed as what is finally a genuine living robot.
“These are novel living machines,” research co-lead Joshua Bongard, robotics expert at the University of Vermont, said in a statement. “They’re neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It’s a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.”
These living robots are given the name “xenobots”, millimeter-length robots designed by a supercomputer running an “evolutionary algorithm” that tested thousands of 3D designs for rudimentary life forms inside a simulation. These robots are then implanted and integrated through cells scraped from frogs.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, these tiny robots could also heal themselves when damaged.
The big hope attached to the creation of the xenobots is that one day they could be used to clean up microplastics in the ocean or even deliver drugs inside human bodies.