Xenobots 3.0 that replicates
November 30, 2021
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Artificial intelligence-designed Xenobots demonstrate an altogether new mechanism of biological self-replication, which holds great promise for regenerative medicine.
Researchers at the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and Harvard University uncovered a novel mode of biological reproduction—and developed self-replicating living robots.
These computer-designed animals, composed of frog cells, collect single cells within a Pac-Man-shaped “mouth” and release Xenobot “babies” that look and move like themselves. Then the offspring repeat the process.
A Pac-Man-shaped “parent” organism created by artificial intelligence (in red) alongside compressed stem cells—the “offspring” (green).
Josh Bongard, University of Vermont; Michael Levin, Tufts University and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University; Douglas Blackiston, Tufts University; and Sam Kriegman, Tufts University and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University invented and collaborated on Xenobots.
The Xenobot Research Team
Image Credit: Tufts and ICDO