- Research the definition of “robot” and the definition of “organism.” How do these two things differ? Could something be a robot and an organism at the same time?
- Have you seen any examples of robots before? What types of materials were those machines made out of?
- What types of feats can “xenobots” perform?
- What are some reasons to build robots using living cells?
- What jobs could robots built out of living cells do?
- What inspired Doug Blackiston to build xenobots?
- How did Blackiston’s team build its xenobots? What types of materials did they use?
- What types of “biohybrid” robots has Rashid Bashir’s group built? What materials have they used?
- According to Ritu Raman, in addition to being able to move, what other behaviors could living robots exhibit?
- What challenges do engineers face in building robots with living cells?
- Do you think robots built out of live cells count as living things? Explain why or why not.
- What potential risks or ethical questions emerge as robots become more and more lifelike?