Tiny ‘living robots’ created from frog embryo stem cells have memories

tiny-‘living-robots’-created-from-frog-embryo-stem-cells-have-memories

01-04-21 12:25:00,

A microscopic ‘living robot’ made from frog embryo stem cells have been designed with self-healing powers and the ability to keep memories.

The innovation pulls from previous work released last year, called Xenobots, but has been upgraded to move more efficiently and perform more complex tasks.

Dubbed Xenobots 2.0, the machines are able to self-propel using hair-like ‘legs’ of cilia, while its predecessor relied on a muscle to move, allowing it to travel faster along surfaces.

However, the greatest advancement is the ability to recall things such as radioactive contamination, chemical pollutants or a disease condition in the body that can be reported back to researchers for further analyses.

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A microscopic ‘living robot’ made from frog embryo stem cells have been designed with self-healing powers and the ability to keep memories. The innovation pulls from previous work released last year, called Xenobots, but has been upgraded to move more efficiently and perform more complex tasks

Both machines were developed by biologists and computer scientists from Tufts University and the University of Vermont (UVM), which used the name ‘Xenobots’ after the African frog Xenopus Laevis that were used to gather cells.

The initial bots were programmed to perform a range of tasks, specifically delivering medicine directly to a point in the body.

However, the 2.0 versions have been upgraded to move faster, navigate different environments and have longer lifespans, but still possess the ability to work together in groups and heal themselves if damaged.

While the Tufts scientists created the physical organisms, scientists at UVM were busy running computer simulations that modeled different shapes of the Xenobots to see if they might exhibit different behaviors, both individually and in groups.

The robots were created from stem cells collected from African frog Xenopus Laevis embryos 24 hours after they are formed

They team placed the embryos under a microscope to harvest the cell tissue

Josh Bongard with UVM said: ‘When we bring in more capabilities to the bots, we can use the computer simulations to design them with more complex behaviors and the ability to carry out more elaborate tasks.

‘We could potentially design them not only to report conditions in their environment but also to modify and repair conditions in their environment.’

Following the simulations,

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