Researchers have used frog cells to create programmable living robots

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

However, a future where fully intelligent (and perhaps self-aware) robots exist is probably still at least a decade away, if not longer. In the meantime, though, researchers from the University of Vermont (UVM) have managed to create something just as impressive: living, biological robots, also known as "xenobots."

These bots are neither traditional robots nor ordinary life forms -- instead, they're an unusual hybrid. They were created through the use of a supercomputer and "repurposed" living cells scraped from frog embryos. Once assembled, these cells become a "living, programmable organism," which could be given a wide range of tasks in the future.

For example, these minuscule organisms could scrape plaque from someone's arteries, gather microplastic from the world's oceans, or search for "nasty compounds" and radioactive contamination. Obviously, it'll be quite some time before the xenobots are allowed to perform any of those tasks, but if that day comes, it'll be a significant milestone for humanity.

Currently, the xenobots are capable of working together, pushing or carrying objects, walking, and even swimming. They're small, coming in at roughly 0.7 millimeters, and they can survive in "standard freshwater" warmed (or cooled) to temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the grand scheme of things, the xenobots don't live very long -- their "pre-loaded" food source is only enough to keep them going for about a week and change. Researchers say that lifespan could be increased to "weeks or months" if a given xenobot is grown in the right environment.

We fully expect plenty of ethical discussions to arise from this research, but that's a topic for another day. For now, what the UVM research team has managed to accomplish is nothing short of astonishing, and we'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Permalink to story.

 

3volv3d

TS Addict
Is it April the 1st already?

I read the first paragraph about how technology has done so much great, yet our world has never been in such a bad shape.
Everyone up in arms about Global warming but nothing being done.
And now robofrog is born.
Will these giant amphibious robotoads / froggers, be able to better than we did. Will they see what we have done to the planet and cast us aside. Will one of them rise up to be "lord of the flies".

I love how we have managed to prolong death, except we haven't managed to end suffering which usually comes with those extra years in our lives. Our loved ones growing more impatient for us to die already as they get cancer before an inheritance, and end up croaking (ribbit) themselves.

No for those who think the world is better with technology, you're *****s, we have mastered nothing, we have only scraped the surface of oled and 4k, and before we can master it we go to 8k, which proves my point. We didnt master plastics or the wheel, and we moved straight on to nuclear weapons. Genius....

:D
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Is it April the 1st already?

I read the first paragraph about how technology has done so much great, yet our world has never been in such a bad shape.
Everyone up in arms about Global warming but nothing being done.
And now robofrog is born.
Will these giant amphibious robotoads / froggers, be able to better than we did. Will they see what we have done to the planet and cast us aside. Will one of them rise up to be "lord of the flies".

I love how we have managed to prolong death, except we haven't managed to end suffering which usually comes with those extra years in our lives. Our loved ones growing more impatient for us to die already as they get cancer before an inheritance, and end up croaking (ribbit) themselves.

No for those who think the world is better with technology, you're *****s, we have mastered nothing, we have only scraped the surface of oled and 4k, and before we can master it we go to 8k, which proves my point. We didnt master plastics or the wheel, and we moved straight on to nuclear weapons. Genius....

:D
Ok... you can go back to living in a world without tech... life expectancy of 25...
I’ll take running water, electricity, etc...

While sensationalist media will tell you how horrible the world is getting, the reality is that the world is actually IMPROVING!

Life expectancy, standard of living, crime rates, etc have all improved tremendously over the past few decades (let alone centuries).

Yes, there is still room to improve, but don’t fool yourself by thinking the world sucks because of tech...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Morris Minor

3volv3d

TS Addict
Ok... you can go back to living in a world without tech... life expectancy of 25...
I’ll take running water, electricity, etc...

While sensationalist media will tell you how horrible the world is getting, the reality is that the world is actually IMPROVING!

Life expectancy, standard of living, crime rates, etc have all improved tremendously over the past few decades (let alone centuries).

Yes, there is still room to improve, but don’t fool yourself by thinking the world sucks because of tech...
Life expectancy, I think I cleared that one up, we live longer but its old age, and I know what that is like for many, it is suffering. So not a win.

Crime rates. Are you serious ? Do you know how the Police get funding. They lower crime to get funding. Many crimes are written off, can't be solved, but can be closed, and they pass it off as a win. The falsify all the time. So I don't buy that.
Technology as in CCTV and ANPR is great, but they mostly fund their drinking with stinging people for driving home too fast on a friday to enjoy their weekend. Bit rude that.

How is the world improving? Plastic in our rivers and seas, ice caps melting, seas rising, drinking water less ( its bottled in stores). Oh and Australia on fire yo! And I know someone tried to kill a rather large spider with a flame thrower, but when you clearly dont have the tech to put out a fire like that, don't light em.
Amazon rainforest was being knocked down by mass companies, now the civilians there want more land so more of thats going. But sure we have a few trees here we can suck oxygen from for another 5 months.
Sinkholes becoming more of a thing, weathers crazy.

And all this is Americas fault. Landed on the moon. And put a flag on it. Which tipped the scales and messed with our tides. Started there. Boom. Mic Drop!

You know I am stoned right??
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
You know I am stoned right??
I actually was going to give a rather lengthy reply, but then I caught your last line...

Thank goodness for the tech that enables us to communicate over vast distances...

And I'll take "old age" over dying at 25 from starvation any day...

I'm 42 years old right now and am near-sighted... without technology, I'd have been dead for years... these last 17 years might not have been perfect for me - but I wouldn't classify it as suffering either.

As someone famous once said: "Growing old sucks, but it sure beats the alternative!"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Morris Minor

3volv3d

TS Addict
I actually was going to give a rather lengthy reply, but then I caught your last line...

Thank goodness for the tech that enables us to communicate over vast distances...

And I'll take "old age" over dying at 25 from starvation any day...

I'm 42 years old right now and am near-sighted... without technology, I'd have been dead for years... these last 17 years might not have been perfect for me - but I wouldn't classify it as suffering either.

As someone famous once said: "Growing old sucks, but it sure beats the alternative!"
You aren't old, so your suffering is yet to come, wait til you need a carer or assisted living, if you have all your faculties, youre fine.

I am more peeved that you didn't like my gender fluid robots being robo1000's. Maybe its because that whole terminator franchise has been done to death

But I did write a lengthy reply but deleted it. You aren't pessimistic and that's fine.
You think society works, you must do to think things are fine.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
You aren't old, so your suffering is yet to come, wait til you need a carer or assisted living, if you have all your faculties, youre fine.

I am more peeved that you didn't like my gender fluid robots being robo1000's. Maybe its because that whole terminator franchise has been done to death

But I did write a lengthy reply but deleted it. You aren't pessimistic and that's fine.
You think society works, you must do to think things are fine.
I know I’m not old.... but in a world without tech, I’d be ancient (if not dead).... hence my enjoyment of the world the way it is as opposed to how you seem to wish it would be...