Team builds first living robots—that can reproduce

Drumboy44

DEFCON Staff
Staff member
To persist, life must reproduce. Over billions of years, organisms have evolved many ways of replicating, from budding plants to sexual animals to invading viruses.

Now scientists at the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction—and applied their discovery to create the first-ever, self-replicating living robots.

The same team that built the first living robots (“Xenobots,” assembled from frog cells—reported in 2020) has discovered that these computer-designed and hand-assembled organisms can swim out into their tiny dish, find single cells, gather hundreds of them together, and assemble “baby” Xenobots inside their Pac-Man-shaped “mouth”—that, a few days later, become new Xenobots that look and move just like themselves.

And then these new Xenobots can go out, find cells, and build copies of themselves. Again and again.

“With the right design—they will spontaneously self-replicate,” says Joshua Bongard, Ph.D., a computer scientist and robotics expert at the University of Vermont who co-led the new research.In a Xenopus laevis frog, these embryonic cells would develop into skin. “They would be sitting on the outside of a tadpole, keeping out pathogens and redistributing mucus,” says Michael Levin, Ph.D., a professor of biology and director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University and co-leader of the new research. “But we’re putting them into a novel context. We’re giving them a chance to reimagine their multicellularity.” Levin is also an Associate Faculty member at the Wyss Institute.

And what they imagine is something far different than skin. “People have thought for quite a long time that we’ve worked out all the ways that life can reproduce or replicate. But this is something that’s never been observed before,” says co-author Douglas Blackiston, Ph.D., the senior scientist at Tufts University and the Wyss Institute who assembled the Xenobot “parents” and developed the biological portion of the new study.

“This is profound,” says Levin. “These cells have the genome of a frog, but, freed from becoming tadpoles, they use their collective intelligence, a plasticity, to do something astounding.” In earlier experiments, the scientists were amazed that Xenobots could be designed to achieve simple tasks. Now they are stunned that these biological objects—a computer-designed collection of cells—will spontaneously replicate. “We have the full, unaltered frog genome,” says Levin, “but it gave no hint that these cells can work together on this new task,” of gathering and then compressing separated cells into working self-copies.

“These are frog cells replicating in a way that is very different from how frogs do it. No animal or plant known to science replicates in this way,” says Sam Kriegman, Ph.D., the lead author on the new study, who completed his Ph.D. in Bongard’s lab at UVM and is now a post-doctoral researcher at Tuft’s Allen Center and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

 

Obreid

Power Poster
3 or 4 years ago programmers had noticed a peculiar and unexpected thing happening with web bots.
Some of them were creating (as in ongoing) their own rudimentary language and communicating with each other.
The programmers last I heard had not figured out the reason they did this on their own or what they were communicating to each.

Think about this. a brain is a massive collocation of cells the send, create, and shares - electrical and molecular signals. At the smallest level the meaning is limited.
But at the macro level it thinks, it’s self aware, makes value judgments and executed commands.

What is going on in the internet and servers world wide that we cannot even see for the trees.
Turn AI algorithms lose in that and will we wake up one day and realize we inadvertently have created a new and vengeful god.
 

DEFCON Warning System

Director
Staff member
Some of them were creating (as in ongoing) their own rudimentary language and communicating with each other.
The programmers last I heard had not figured out the reason they did this on their own or what they were communicating to each.
I remember that. They pulled the plug on it (literally), fearing what was happening.
 

rudemarine

Power Poster
I remember that. They pulled the plug on it (literally), fearing what was happening.

And you can't tell me some twisted evil genius has thought by now he has fixed it, while the dam thing is laying in wait to reek havock on the humans who pulled it's cord.

Elon Musk needs to take matters in his own hands, retire from Space X, Tesla and forget about Mars. He needs to make his life's mission to destroy all these threats to humanity or just build every last one of us in America custom indestructible Ironman suits.

His moon and Mars ideas are just ways to milk money out of tax payers anyway. Only an idiot would leave a beautiful earth for a baren desert planet that we can not even breathe on.
 

rudemarine

Power Poster
3 or 4 years ago programmers had noticed a peculiar and unexpected thing happening with web bots.
Some of them were creating (as in ongoing) their own rudimentary language and communicating with each other.
The programmers last I heard had not figured out the reason they did this on their own or what they were communicating to each.

Think about this. a brain is a massive collocation of cells the send, create, and shares - electrical and molecular signals. At the smallest level the meaning is limited.
But at the macro level it thinks, it’s self aware, makes value judgments and executed commands.

What is going on in the internet and servers world wide that we cannot even see for the trees.
Turn AI algorithms lose in that and will we wake up one day and realize we inadvertently have created a new and vengeful god.

I nearly had a stroke when President Trump went to Saudi Arabia and joined the king in his Ceremony, turning on their huge AI computer. I don't think he realized just what the hell he was doing and probably regrets it still.

In the first second of that thing being plugged in to the internet it became smarter than anything on earth and all of us combined in the next few seconds. If it's truly full AI I don't understand how it hasn't locked everyone out of their systems yet.
 

Obreid

Power Poster
I nearly had a stroke when President Trump went to Saudi Arabia and joined the king in his Ceremony, turning on their huge AI computer. I don't think he realized just what the hell he was doing and probably regrets it still.

In the first second of that thing being plugged in to the internet it became smarter than anything on earth and all of us combined in the next few seconds. If it's truly full AI I don't understand how it hasn't locked everyone out of their systems yet.
????
 
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