August 15, 2022
Xenobots: How 'Pac-Man Robots' Can Reproduce Action On Their Own |  cooperation

Xenobots: How ‘Pac-Man Robots’ Can Reproduce Action On Their Own | cooperation

Scientists who invented “Live robots” using frog cells Unveiled new developments in technology. known as xenobotssmall robots You can breed nowThe researchers announced.

Created in partnership with the Universities of Vermont, Tufts, and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, the project is considered The first to develop self-replicating robots.

The purpose of research is to discover possible uses of experience, such as Reaching areas that people can’t go to, on land contaminated with radioactivity, for example.

Collecting microplastics in the oceans or traveling in arteries to clear blockages are other potential uses of the xenobot.

Also draws attention to its format Reminds us of “Pac-Man” from the famous 80’s game.

Xenobot combines cells to make offspring – Photo: Doug Blackstone and Sam Kriegman

See below questions and answers about xenobots:

The creation of xenobots was announced in 2020 by North American researchers. At the time, they reported that the experience wasn’t like that Neither a traditional robot nor a known type of animal.

It is categorized as A living but programmable organism..

To achieve this result, they used a supercomputer to develop and program the device, based on frog cells, using algorithms and other advanced methods.

Xenobots: Robots made from frog cells can self-replicate – Photo: Doug Blackstone and Sam Kriegman

Why the name xenobot

The species used in the research is Xenopus laevis, an African frog, hence the name The robot is a “xenobot”. It is she who gives the cells to the robots.

Rã da espécie Xenopus laevis – Foto: Visual hunt / CC BY / Brian Gratwicke

How many cells are in the xenobot

Scientists use 3000 stem cells From the skin of a frog to create a robot that has less than a millimeter. Cells are not specialized and have the ability to develop into different types.

The team confirms that There is no type of genetic change in organic matter.

According to the scholars, xenobots automatically started breeding. The robot collects other loose cells that aggregate and become polyps over time.

This type of reproduction is well known at the molecular level, the researchers said, but has not previously been seen at the level of cells or whole organisms.

However, the initial spherical shape was not the most appropriate.

It can bear children, but the system usually dies afterwards. In fact, it’s very difficult to get the system to keep reproducing,” Kriegman says.

US researchers have developed robots made of frog cells – Photo: Douglas Blackstone and Sam Kriegman

Using artificial intelligence (AI) on a supercomputer, an algorithm has been able to test billions of shapes for xenobots. Triangles, squares, pyramids, and starfish were analyzed to see which one was more effective.

“We asked the University of Vermont supercomputer to figure out how to modify the shape of the first parents, and the AI ​​came up with some strange designs after months of work, including one that looks like a Pac-Man,” Kriegman said.

According to the researchers, the correct design significantly increased the number of generations of xenobots.

Xenobots “Pac-Man” cells – Photo: University of Vermont

Are ‘live robots’ a cause for concern?

Knowing that tiny robots can self-replicate could raise a number of questions about the safety of an experiment like this, but the scientists guarantee that xenobots won’t survive outside the lab.

“[Os xenobots] It has been completely contained in a laboratory and can be easily quenched under the supervision of government ethicists.”