Experts at the University of Vermont in the United States have discovered that the biorobots they have created have the ability to reproduce themselves. It is reported by the NewScientist edition.
The world’s first xenobots, created from frog cells, in the laboratory have learned to form small structures, self-organize and move small “weights”. Experts have noticed that when biorobots gather in groups, they can form spheres of about three thousand cells within five days. New xenobots were reproduced from the resulting cells.
Researchers have found that groups of 12 biorobots can work together to form one or two new generations. “One xenobot parent can start the reproduction process, and then by accident a second parent can put more cells in that pile of cells and so on,” said lead author Josh Bongard.
Each subsequent round of replication creates offspring less capable of self-reproduction. So, in the end, xenobots in the last generation consist of less than 50 cells – they lose the ability to swim and reproduce.
The scientists emphasized that the replication process can be controlled. Using an algorithm, a team of experts predicted which initial forms of xenobots would produce the most offspring. With the help of their discovery, the authors of the study will try to figure out how the first organisms on Earth multiplied.
Scientists at the University of Vermont in the United States announced the development of the world’s first robots built from living cells of the frog Xenopus laevis in early 2020. Xenobots are able to move, self-organize and move microscopic “loads”.