In January 2020 a team of scientists from the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and Harvard took stem cells from African clawed frog embryos and created tiny living creatures called “xenobots”.
These robots, which are less than .04 inchest wide, move on their own, communicate with each other, and repair themselves. Now, scientists say, they have observed these xenobots moving around their environment and gathering single cells that they then use to assemble an offspring in their mouths. A few days later the offspring becomes a new, functioning xenobot making these the first ever “living” “reproducing” robots.
“This is profound,” Michael Levin, director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University and co-leader of the new research, said in a statement. “These cells have the genome of a frog, but, freed from becoming tadpoles, they use their collective intelligence, a plasticity, to do something astounding.”
How do you feel about robots? The next step? Robot frogs taking our jobs?