Researchers behind the world's first living robot have found a way to make it reproduce — by shaping it like Pac-Man

Asia's Tech News Daily

A group of AI-designed organisms in a petri dish over a dollar bill for scale.Douglas Blackiston and Sam Kriegman

  • The world's first living robot is now able to replicate itself in a unique way.

  • Xenobots are robots made from the stem cells of the Xenopus laevis, an African clawed frog.

  • Sam Kriegman, a scientist working on Xenobots, said they can pile up cells to make more of themselves.

Scientists that created Xenobots — the world's first living robots — have found a way to efficiently form the bots to reproduce themselves on their own.

The Xenobots are formed from stem cells of the Xenopus laevis (an African clawed frog), the cells of which have tiny little hairs called cilia to help them move around a petri dish. Scientist Sam Kriegman told Insider that, while people may think of large industrial or metallic figures as robots, the term really refers to any machine that does “physical, useful work” in the world.

Kriegman worked on the Xenobot project along with researchers affiliated with the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

“We tried to figure out what useful work they could do, and one of the things that we came up with was to clean up the dish,” Kriegman said.

The researchers placed dye particles and silicone-coated iron beads into the petri dish and observed the movement of the little Xenobots, observing that they were piling up the debris, Kriegman said. He described the Xenobots as bulldozers that move around and push stem cells into piles.

Kriegman said his colleague Douglas Blackiston then repeated the process by placing additional cells – the same kind that the Xenobots are made of — to see how the bots would react.

“I said, 'Oh my God, that's amazing. What happens when they make the piles. What do the cells become when they're piles?' We didn't know,” Kriegman said. “We found out by letting those piles develop over the course of a few days, and then bringing them into a new dish and seeing if they can move.”

He added: “And it turns out that is possible.”

This pointed towards the piles becoming “offspring” of the stem cells, growing their own cilia and operating on their own.

“If there's enough of the stem cells in a pile, they will start to develop and will compact together in a sphere,” Kriegman said. “They'll grow cilia, and that allows them to move, and in some cases, also make additional piles, and those piles become their offspring.”

Kriegman said, at first, the replication was happening “spontaneously,” so researchers used artificial intelligence to figure out the best shape for the Xenobots to replicate on a more consistent basis to have better control.

“We built a computational model that simulates the stem cells and everything inside of the computer,” Kriegman said of the process.

They discovered that a “Pac-Man” shape yielded the best results to ensure the Xenobots were able to create more, thus engineering the shape of the actual Xenobots into the more efficient form.

“It turns out that that design is at least two to three times better than just the natural state,” Kriegman said. “So they created children that made grandchildren, that made great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. So, four rounds of replication with the 'Pac-Man' design.”

For now, the Xenobots are contained to the petri dishes of the lab, but Kriegman said biologists and roboticists hope the project could give insight into how some animals can regenerate lost parts while some cannot, like how humans are able to regenerate parts of their liver, but salamanders can regenerate entire limbs.

He said the next step for the Xenobots would be to give them some sort of sensory organs — for instance, a way to see.

“Right now, they're essentially swimming around with their eyes closed,” he said. “They're just balls of motors.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Amanda Holden enlists vacuum cleaner and thigh-high black boots for 'epic' garage singing session

Amanda Holden channelled her inner pop star to wind down at home this weekend. (Getty Images) Possibly as part of a commendable effort to lift people's January spirits, Amanda Holden ... Read more »

Covid tests for fully vaccinated travellers ‘to be scrapped this month'

Travel bosses will welcome the new changes (AFP via Getty Images) Vaccinated travellers will be able to go on holiday without taking <a href="/tag/covid-tests“>Covid tests on their return to the ... Read more »

Tony Blair Refuses To Call For Boris Johnson To Resign Over Partygate

Boris Johnson and Tony Blair at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, on November 14, 2021. (Photo: TOBY MELVILLE via Getty Images) Sir Tony Blair has refused to call for Boris Johnson ... Read more »

‘Stop lying to us': John Bishop calls Boris Johnson a ‘p***k' over No 10 parties

John Bishop has called Boris Johnson a “p***k” for breaking Covid-19 rules to attend a party at the height of lockdown. The prime minister is facing pressure to resign after ... Read more »

Ominous supercell storm captured over Texas in mesmerizing time-lapse

Mesmerising time-lapse footage has been captured of an ominous supercell storm cloud. Meteorology student Isaac Schluesche captured the images while storm chasing near the town of Earth, Texas. Isaac, of ... Read more »

Prince Andrew accused of ‘victim blaming' over sexual abuse case legal tactics

Prince Andrew has been accused of “victim blaming” by women’s rights groups and legal experts after demanding to see Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s mental health records and suggesting she has “false ... Read more »

'They killed a beautiful sportsman and his career': How the world reacted to Novak Djokovic's deportation

‘They killed a beautiful sportsman and his career’: How the world reacted to Novak Djokovic‘s deportation – EPA Novak Djokovic has lost his appeal against deportation in Australia after a ... Read more »

Kanye West attends daughter Chicago's birthday after claiming Kim Kardashian ‘wouldn't share' address

Kanye West attended his daughter Chicago’s fourth birthday party after claiming Kim Kardashian “wouldn’t share” the address. Chicago is the second youngest of four of the children West shares with ... Read more »

Australia has decided to 'let Covid rip.' Is that a good idea?

In just over a month,  the country’s Covid cases have sharply risen from around 1,000 a day to more than 100,000 a day — but its deaths remain low. Read more »

Tsunami from Tonga volcano eruption leaves trail of flood damage

Waves rush over island country while tidal surges are felt by small Pacific neighbours plus New Zealand, Australia, US and Japan Tsunami waves caused by an undersea volcano have flooded ... Read more »

Downing Street parties: Boris Johnson faces further calls to resign over partygate as reports claim 'mass clearout' of Number 10 team

A sixth Conservative MP is calling for the prime minister to quit over the ever-growing list of alleged lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, as Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing to strike back ... Read more »

Nets worry after Durant exits early due to left knee sprain

All-Star Kevin Durant has been forced out of Saturday's Brooklyn Nets game against the New Orleans Pelicans due to a left knee sprain. Durant is expected to undergo an MRI ... Read more »

Bengals end 32-year playoff drought, beat Raiders with dramatic defensive stand

The streak is over. The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 in Saturday's wild-card matchup, earning their first postseason victory since 1991 and ending an eight-game playoff losing ... Read more »

Novak Djokovic says Australia's immigration minister failed to ask him his views on vaccination

Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters Djokovic’s lawyers dispute that the Serbian tennis player is an anti-vaxxer as federal court hearing on his last-ditch bid to avoid deportation begins Get our free news ... Read more »

Sir Michael Caine Changes His Name To Michael Caine Because Of Isis

(Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire) Article originally published 21/07/2016: due to a technical issue this article may have resurfaced for some readers, and the original publish date may not have been ... Read more »

Emma Raducanu and Rafael Nadal lead player backlash against Novak Djokovic

Emma Raducan Australian Open – AP The Australian Open can get along perfectly well without Novak Djokovic, said the 20-time major champion Rafael Nadal, on a day when the world’s ... Read more »

Prince Harry seeks judicial review after Home Office bans him from paying for police protection for Archie and Lilibet in UK

Prince Harry has filed a claim for a judicial review over a Home Office decision to not to allow him to privately pay for police protection for himself and his ... Read more »

Carrie Johnson pictured breaking Covid rules hugging friend at West End club

Carrie Johnson with her friend, Anna Pinder Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister's wife, was photographed breaking Covid-19 social distancing rules days after the public was warned that it was “critical” ... Read more »

Vulnerable woman starved to death in NHS hospital following ‘unacceptable' failures

Jennifer Lewis died in July 2017 from the effects of malnutrition while she was an inpatient at the Bracton Hospital (Angela Lewis) “Unacceptable” failures by a mental health hospital to ... Read more »

Celine Dion inundated with prayers after agonizing health update

Celine Dion delivered upsetting news to fans on Saturday when she shared a health update. The star – who was forced to postpone her Las Vegas residency in October due ... Read more »

Tess Daly melts hearts with emotional tribute to Claudia Winkleman

Tess Daly paid a sweet tribute to her friend and co-worker Claudia Winkleman on Saturday in honour of her 50th birthday. MORE: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman's post-Strictly Come Dancing ... Read more »

Jeremy Corbyn Supporters Enjoy Clean Sweep In Election To Labour's Ruling Body

(Photo: Rob Stothard via Getty Images) The left-wing takeover of the Labour Party continued as allies of Jeremy Corbyn seized more control of its ruling body. Six Labour members backed ... Read more »

Amanda Holden sparks fan frenzy in thigh-high boots and sparkly bodysuit

Amanda Holden caused mass hysteria among her followers when she shared a jaw-dropping video of herself wearing very little on Saturday morning. MORE: Amanda Holden looks flawless in gorgeous must-see ... Read more »

Amanda Holden is the ultimate Charlie's Angel in slinky bodycon jumpsuit

Another day at the office means another seriously chic outfit for Amanda Holden! Putting a retro spin on her latest workwear look, the radio star headed to Global Studios in ... Read more »

Tonga hit by tsunami as Australia, New Zealand and US issue alerts after huge volcanic eruption

An undersea volcano has erupted in the Pacific island nation of Tonga, sending large waves which prompted tsunami advisories across the South Pacific and the US. People have been forced ... Read more »

Keir Starmer says ousting Boris Johnson would be ‘in the national interest'

Keir Starmer delivers his speech at the Fabian Society’s New Year Conference (EPA) Ousting Boris Johnson as Tory leader and prime minister would be “in the national interest”, Keir Starmer ... Read more »

Ant and Dec point out hilarious contestant look-a-like in first look at tonight's 'Limitless Win'

Ant and Dec spotted a contestant resemblance. (ITV) Ant and Dec spot a hilarious resemblance between one of their Limitless Win contestants and a famous face in a first look ... Read more »

Charles Spencer bears striking resemblance to Prince Harry in picture inside vast library

Charles Spencer previously revealed the library inside Althorp House is his favourite part of the home, but we didn't realise it had a very sentimental corner – until now. SEE: ... Read more »

Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson to retain royal title

Prince Andrew‘s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson to retain royal title credit:Bang Showbiz Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson will retain her royal title. Sarah has continued to use the title Sarah, Duchess ... Read more »

Vogue Williams' baby bump causes confusion in stunning bikini photo

Vogue Williams showed off her blossoming baby bump on Friday as she soaked up the sun in the Maldives. MORE: Vogue Williams demands second proposal after 'uncomfortable' Spencer Matthews engagement ... Read more »

Killer, 18, jailed for fatally stabbing 16-year-old who tried to break up a fight

Rayon Pennycook was stabbed to death in the street as he attempted to break up a fight (SWNS) A teenager has been jailed for life for stabbing a 16-year-old to ... Read more »

Tsunami waves detected after undersea volcano erupts in Tonga

File: A hazardous tsunami was generated in Tonga on Saturday (Getty Images) Tsunami waves measuring two feet in height were generated in American Samoa after volcanic activity in Tonga, a ... Read more »

This Morning fans make same plea after presenter shake up

This Morning made some changes to its presenting line-up ahead of Friday's edition of the show – and it sparked viewers to make a similar plea online. MORE: Alison Hammond ... Read more »

Djokovic heading back to detention before crunch Australia deportation hearing

Novak Djokovic's Australian Open fate is set to be determined in a fresh hearing on Sunday – with the defending champion back into detention before that takes place. In a ... Read more »

David Beckham shares candid new photo kissing daughter Harper - and wife Victoria reacts

David Beckham has delighted his fans by sharing new pictures with his daughter Harper during the school run. The former footballer joked that his ten-year-old girl looks almost identical to ... Read more »

Why Did the Queen Take So Long to Call Time on Prince Andrew?

John Thys/Getty Prince Andrew’s excommunication from royal life, announced this week by the queen, was a dramatic moment, for sure. But, as he prepares to continue fighting or end or ... Read more »

Warriors' depth shines in Bulls rout, Booker stars as Suns down Pacers

The Golden State Warriors showed off their newfound depth and flexed their muscle with a 138-96 rout over the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls on Friday. Three Warriors scored more points ... Read more »

Should Boris Johnson resign over ‘partygate'? Have your say in our poll

Senior Tories are calling for Boris Johnson to resign despite his apology for attending a boozy party in the garden of Downing Street during the first Covid lockdown in May ... Read more »

Pictured: Father killed in horror smash in Waltham Abbey

Stuart McDonald was killed in the crash (Supplied) Tributes have been paid to a father killed in a horror smash which also claimed the lives of a woman and her ... Read more »

Teenage girl grabbed from alleyway and raped by two masked men

The Metropolitan Police has commenced a man hunt to find the men who attacked the teenager – Britpix / Alamy Stock Photo A teenager was grabbed by two masked men ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic