Xenobots Self-Replication Robot Biology
Researchers from the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have created the first-ever, self-replicating living robots, called Xenobots 3.0. What is a living robot? They are capable of going out, finding cells, and build copies of themselves repeatedly. They are made from 3,000 embryonic skin cells of an African clawed frog.



The Xenobots can essentially swim around while collecting hundreds of single cells to assemble smaller versions of themselves in their mouths, which then grow to be full-sized within a few days. Scientifically speaking, this mode of reproduction is referred to as kinematic replication and common in molecules, but has never been seen in cells or organisms.

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What presents risk is the next pandemic, accelerating ecosystem damage from pollution, (and) intensifying threats from climate change. This is an ideal system in which to study self-replicating systems. We have a moral imperative to understand the conditions under which we can control it, direct it, douse it, exaggerate it,” said Joshua Bongard, a computer scientist and robotics expert at the University of Vermont.

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