Robots - Inanimate or Living: To evaluate the receptivity of Xenobots by Indian Respondents


  • Aarav Agrawal Delhi Public School R K Puram
  • Saurav Debnath Alum: Hindu College, University of Delhi



Living Robots, AI, Biotechnology, Ethical Concerns, Receptivity, Advantages, Drawbacks, Biocompatibility


As industrialization continues, the world is introduced to many challenges, such as Global Warming and Pollution. Even with adverse effects on the environment, synthetic materials continue to be commonly used. To tackle this, scientists from the University of Vermont combined the fields of AI and bio-technology to develop a robot capable of performing specific functions e.g, locomoting and manipulating objects, using cells. Other than reducing the use of synthetic materials, this robot can directly help in collecting microplastics from the ocean, while being biodegradable. With time, as manufacturing gets automated, the capability of these robots will be widened. Though it’s not an immediate concern, the idea of a living robot can be seen to come with many ethical concerns. To understand the reservations it can create, this research paper intends to evaluate the receptivity of Xenobots by high-school students and teachers. A total of 30 respondents from various urban and suburban locations of the country were surveyed on their knowledge and interest of Xenobots, before and after watching an informational video, and their thoughts on its ethical concerns and effectiveness were collected from open-ended questions. Qualitative and Quantitative tools such as t-tests, mean, SD tests and thematic analysis were used to study the accumulated data. The video positively impacted their rating of knowledge, however interest remained equally high. Further thematic analysis revealed that respondents were doubtful about its usefulness as well as its drawbacks, which notifies aspiring companies and governments that it might be too soon for such technology. 


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Author Biography

Saurav Debnath, Alum: Hindu College, University of Delhi


References or Bibliography

Ball, P. (2020). Living robots. Nature materials, 19(3), 265-265.

Coghlan, S., & Leins, K. (2020). “Living Robots”: Ethical Questions About Xenobots. The American Journal of Bioethics, 20(5), W1-W3.

Coupland, R., & Leins, K. R. (2005). Science and prohibited weapons. Science, 308(5730), 1841-1842.

Kriegman, S., Blackiston, D., Levin, M., & Bongard, J. (2020). A scalable pipeline for designing reconfigurable organisms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(4), 1853-1859.

University of Vermont. (2020, January 13). Living robots built using frog cells: Tiny 'xenobots' assembled from cells promise advances from drug delivery to toxic waste clean-up. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2022 from



How to Cite

Agrawal, A., & Debnath, S. (2022). Robots - Inanimate or Living: To evaluate the receptivity of Xenobots by Indian Respondents. Journal of Student Research, 11(2).



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