First living robots created from frog stem cells


XenobotDouglas Blackiston

Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam…

These are entirely new lifeforms. They have never before existed on Earth,” said Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “They are living, programmable organisms.”…

Roboticists tend to favour metal and plastic for their strength and durability, but Levin and his colleagues see benefits in making robots from biological tissues. When damaged, living robots can heal their wounds, and once their task is done they fall apart, just as natural organisms decay when they die.

Their unique features mean that future versions of the robots might be deployed to clean up microplastic pollution in the oceans, locate and digest toxic materials, deliver drugs in the body or remove plaque from artery walls…

Wow! A dramatic start to an entirely new genre of bio-engineering.

Yes, there’s a chunk of space at the end of the article dedicated to ethical considerations – which may be relevant in a few decades. I’ll leave the navel-gazing to academics. They’ll have enough to deal with – certainly, in the GOUSA, with religious nutters.

One thought on “First living robots created from frog stem cells

  1. Ice-nine says:

    “A simple combination of sand, gelatin and bacteria has produced ‘living bricks’ that match the strength of cement-based mortar and could one day reduce the demand for the world’s carbon intensive, construction material of choice, cement. These living bricks can even reproduce – if a brick is cut in half then within a couple of days there are two more complete bricks.
    The technique capitalizes on the process of biomineralisation, whereby living organisms produce minerals that can harden or stiffen tissue. The inspiration came in part from the limitations of self-healing concrete, itself a biomineralisation success story.” https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/living-bricks-that-can-reproduce-could-cut-constructions-carbon-footprint/4011020.article
    “”Powerhouse” (Raymond Scott, 1937) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaC0vNLdLvY

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