These Living Robots Made of Frog Cells Are Fusing Nature with AI

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No, it’s not science fiction: scientists have created a living robot from frog cells that can self-heal, move, and work together. The newest iteration even has something of a memory. Robotics has long taken inspiration from the natural world, but this year, two teams from Tufts University and the University of Vermont announced a new breakthrough in biodegradable, living robots. Known as Xenobots, these new innovations push the boundaries of what’s possible in robotics and promise to change the way researchers think about fusing nature and artificial intelligence. What Are Xenobots? Xenobot is the name given to this new advancement in robotics, a name derived from the frog species Xenopus laevis from which the cells originate. Xenobots first debuted in January 2020. The original version of the Xenobot was made entirely of organic matter using an artificial intelligence system. Experts at the University of Vermont program “evolutionary algorithms” and then researchers at Tufts assemble the bots using living frog cells.

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