Xenobots Worlds first Living Robot

worlds first living robot

Xenobot – Worlds first Living Robot

Computers with the help of programming build machines called robots. They design them to perform tasks. Living creatures are made by nature. The new invention of ‘living robots’ is a combination of both, making it not a robot, nor a living species, called xenobots. This is a huge breakthrough and sounds impossible.

Computer scientists and robotics experts from the University of Vermont, the US along with the help of biologists at Tufts University created and published the world’s first living robots. It can self-heal with the help of stem cells from frogs.


These are called ‘xenobots’ and are tiny hybrids which are entirely a new life form. It is a new artifact that is a living programmable organism. They named it so after the African frog known as Xenopus laevis used in the research.

The programming and designing were done on supercomputers at the University of Vermont whereas the assembling and testing were done at Tufts University. DARPA’s Lifelong Learning Machines program and the National Science Foundation provided the required support. 

Metal robots have existed for a long. However, this is an improvement as this has biological tissues present which has the potential of being able to heal. It remains at a very early stage.


  • These xenobots are less than a millimeter wide.
  • They are small enough to travel inside the human body.
  • Performs a few general tasks like walking, swimming, surviving weeks without food, etc.
  • They tend to work together in groups.

Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into entirely different cell types. They took the living stem cells from the frog embryos that were left to incubate. With the help of tiny forceps and a tinier electrode, they cut the cells and joined them under a microscope. They designed it into structures that were specified by the computer.

The forms were new, never seen ever in nature. They however failed to work when flipped over. Later tests showed that these moved in groups in circles pushing towards the central location spontaneously together.

Xenobots do not look like the traditional shiny machine-looking robots. Instead, they look like a minute blob of moving pink flesh. As they have biological tissues, they can do things that the usual plastic or steel robots cannot do. These can be used for various reasons such as to clear up the radioactive wastes, collect microplastics in the water bodies.

In conclusion, this sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie or novel. Artificial intelligence is one of the powerful tools which play a huge role used in this. Further, it is a huge advancement that has opened doors for researches in the future.

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