Robots can reproduce – level 3

09-12-2021 15:00

US scientists, who made the world’s first computer-designed living robots, say that the ’Pac Man’ shaped organisms are capable of self-reproduction.

The robots designed by AI are known as Xenobots, and they are made from a skin cells from frog eggs. Scientists put the skin cells together, and in certain conditions, that group of cells keeps its shape. It starts moving in fresh water in a Petri dish of its own volition.

The group moves around, and it happened to push other shapes or pellets into piles. This led scientists to the idea of what would happen if they replaced these pellets with more loose frog cells. As a result, the robots pushed frog cells into piles, and they stuck to one another. Over about five days, if the pile was big enough, it started to reproduce by sprouting small hairs, and the pile started to move.

This reproduction method is entirely new, unlike the way any existing plant or animal copies itself. In theory, these robots could do useful work for people, which is what actually makes them robots.

Difficult words: Petri dish (a small shallow dish that is used in scientific tests, especially for growing bacteria), volition (the power of making choices or decisions without being influenced by other people), sprout (to grow).

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