Researchers in the US announced that they created miniature live machines, a kind of biological robot that can be programmed to do various tasks, from transporting drugs into the body until it cleans toxic waste in the environment.
The artificial biological organisms (named Xenobots) were created from living cells taken from frog embryos, designed in a supercomputer and then assembled into completely new life-length forms of a few millimeters. They can move themselves towards one goal and heal themselves after a cut.
The researchers, led by robotic professor Joshua Bongard of the University of Vermont Computer Science department, made the relevant publication in the Journal of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
”These are innovative living machines. They are neither traditional robots nor any known animal species. It is a new category of creation: a living programmable organism”,
”We can imagine various useful applications of these living robots, which other machines can not do, such as missions in environments contaminated with radioactivity, collection of microplastics from the oceans, or cleaning the interior of the arteries from the athermatic plaque”,
said Michael Levin, director of the Centre for Regenerative and Developmental Biology of the Tufts University.