When we think of robots, we think of big, tough metal cars.
However, a group of scientists are challenging the way we view robots after they have developed what is described as the world’s first living and self-healing robot, which they built using stem cells from a frog.
Called xenobots (named after the frog from Africa whose stem cells used them), these are living robots, less than a millimeter wide, making them able to enter a human body.
They are also able to walk, swim, work together in groups and survive without food for weeks.
According to Joshua Bongard, a lead researcher at the University of Vermont, “These are new live cars. They are neither traditional robots nor a familiar animal species. It is a new class of objects: a living, programmable organism. “
“One of the benefits of this design is that they are more environmentally friendly and safer for human health. “
This is because, according to researchers, traditional robots tend to degenerate over time and will produce harmful ecological and health side effects.
For now, there are various possible uses for xenobots, such as the cleaning of radioactive waste, the accumulation of microplastics in the oceans, the delivery of drugs within our bodies, and so on.