Researchers have taken a major leap towards the realm of science fiction by creating what they claim are the world’s first living robots.
Those concerned that the age of the Terminator may be upon us need not worry for now – the hybrids cooked up by scientists at the University of Vermont have been based on a type of African frog.
The “entirely new life forms”, known as xenobots, have been made using stem cells from frog embryos and have been designed to one day be used in medicine and underwater research.
It is hoped that the millimetre-wide bots could swim around human bodies to reach specific areas requiring medicine, and be used to gather microplastics in the ocean.
But one potential feature very befitting of a T-800 is their ability to self-heal, which the team in Vermont believes will develop thanks to their biological tissues.
Joshua Bongard, a computer scientist and robotics expert who co-led the breakthrough, explained: “These are novel living machines. They’re neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal.
“It’s a new class of artefact: a living, programmable organism.”