I have always known about cloning and cyborgs but in January 2020, scientist made a major breakthrough with the Xenobot. A robot not made from metals, plastic or wiring but mainly of living cells gotten. The 650 – 750 microns in diameter robot (about the size of a grain of salt) is made from stem cells gotten from frogs (stem cells are unspecialized cells that develop into different cell types). The xenobot is a self-healing robot that can move around, carry payloads, swim and survive without external introduction of food for about a week as they com preloaded with lipid and protein deposits which serves as food. The Xenobot can't reproduce or evolve.
The name xenobot was coined after an African frog Xenopus laevis where they got the stem cells. This robots are neither traditional robots like is always seen nor known species of animals, they are cells from frog embryos that are turned into living machine are programmed to work as they wish. The Xenobot is able to transport medicine around the body of patients and clean up pollution from ocean. In other to get this living robot, the researchers
These are novel living machines – Joshua Bongard
Computer scientists from the University of Vermont used deep green supercomputer cluster in configure the cells to work as a robot. The robot utilizes skin cells to bond structures and pulsing muscle cells for movement. Biologist from the center for regenerative and development biology at Tufts University got cells from frog embryo and incubated them and Douglas Blackiston a microsurgeon crafted the skin and heart cells into the designs gotten from the supercomputer.
There's no genetic engineering here, so we're not tinkering with viruses or the DNA of organisms. If you zoom in on a xenobot down to the level of an individual cell, you're looking at a normal frog cell - Douglas
The xenobots are biodegradable cells that dies seven days after they are done with their jobs. They become dead skin cells. The robots can self-heal themselves even when they are cut in halves.
Having a robot that could go to places where traditional robots can't go was the main motivation of the innovation. A xenobot could be used to administer medications to a specific target in the human body also it can be used to get microplastics in water bodies, clean up radioactive waste, and scrape plaques in arteries.
Since a supercomputer which is an AI was used to design the Xenobot programming, doubts about the use of AI to design weaponized CDOs could arise. In response to this, the scientists said it was possible theoretical but at the moment, it is difficult to see how AI could create harmful organisms and he further said that unlike an AI, a talented biologist with bad intentions could create one.
You can read more about the Xenobot here