Categories
AI

Report: AI startup funding hits record high of $17.9B in Q3

Even as economies struggle with the chaos of the pandemic, the AI startup space continues to grow stronger with increased investments and M&A deals.

According to the latest State of AI report from CB Insights, the global funding in the segment has seen a significant surge, growing from $16.6 billion across 588 deals in Q2 2021 (figures show $20B due to the inclusion of two public subsidiary fundings) to $17.9 billion across 841 deals in the third quarter. Throughout the year (which is yet to end), AI startups around the world raised $50 billion across 2000+ deals with 138 mega-rounds of 100+ million. As much as $8.5 billion of the total investment went into healthcare AI, $3.1 billion went into fintech AI, while $2.6 billion went into retail AI.

The findings show how AI has become a driving force across nearly every industry and is drawing significant attention from VCs, CVCs, and other investors. In Q3 alone, there were 13 new AI unicorns globally, bringing the total number of billion-dollar AI startups to 119. Three startups also reached $2 billion in valuation — Algolia and XtaPi from the U.S. and Black Sesame Technologies from China.

Meanwhile, in terms of M&A exits, the quarter saw over 100 acquisitions like the previous one, putting the total exits for the year at 253. The biggest AI acquisition of the quarter was PayPal snapping up Paidly — a company determining creditworthiness using AI/ML — for $2.7 billion, followed by Zoominfo’s acquisition of Chorus.ai — a startup using AI to analyze sales calls — for $575 million.

U.S. AI startups continue to dominate

State of AI startup funding

Out of the $17.9 billion raised by AI startups worldwide in Q3, a significant $10.4 billion went to companies based in the U.S. and $4.8 billion into those in Asia. However, Asian firms raised this amount in nearly just as many deals (321) as in the U.S. (324), which signals that the average deal size was smaller there compared to U.S. Mega-round deals in the U.S. stood at 24 in Q3, while Asia saw 13 such deals.

Databricks, Dataiku, Olive, XtalPi, Datarobot, and Cybereason were the companies with the biggest rounds in the U.S. in the third quarter.

As compared to Asia and the U.S., funding in Canada, Latin America, and Europe regions was the lowest at $0.4 billion, $0.5 billion, and $1.6 billion, respectively. These regions cumulatively saw just eight mega-rounds.

Read the full report here.

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Categories
Computing

How To Record Your Screen on an Apple Mac Computer

Recording your computer screen is a handy way to capture what you’re doing on your device. On a Mac, you can use it to record MacOS gameplay or show a friend how to perform a task … because sometimes showing someone is much easier than trying to explain it.

Fortunately, MacOS includes two built-in ways to help you record your screen with ease: Using the Screenshot toolbar or using Apple’s QuickTime Player app. We’ll take you through both methods in this guide so you’ll know exactly how to capture videos when you need to.

Use the Screenshot toolbar

Step 1: Press Command + Shift + 5 on your keyboard. This opens your Mac’s Screenshot toolbar.

Step 2: In the center of the toolbar are two options for video recording: Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion. As the names suggest, you can click the left-most of the two buttons to record the whole screen or the one on the right to record just a portion.

Step 3: Click Options to tweak how it records. From here, you can screen-record on your Mac with audio. Under the Microphone heading, just choose a plugged-in mic, and when you record, your voice will be included.

The MacOS Screenshot toolbar showing its options menu.

Step 4: If you chose to record the whole screen, just click anywhere on your display to begin the recording. Alternatively, click the Record button.

Step 5: If you selected Record Selected Portion, you will see a box on-screen showing what will be captured. Click and drag the handles at the edges of this box to adjust what is recorded. You can move this selection to wherever you want. When you’re ready, click Record.

A portion of a MacOS screen that will be recorded.

Step 6: When you’re finished, click the Stop button in the menu bar, or press Control + Command + Esc. A thumbnail will appear in the bottom-right corner of your desktop. Ignore it or swipe it right to save the video. Click the Thumbnail to open the recording, then click the Trim button (to the left of the Done button) to cut it if necessary. Control-Click the thumbnail to get some options, like opening it in an app or changing where recordings are saved.

A thumbnail of a saved screen recording on the MacOS desktop.

Use QuickTime Player

Step 1: Open QuickTime Player from the Applications folder, from Launchpad, or by pressing Command + Space and typing the app’s name.

A Spotlight window in MacOS showing results for QuickTime Player.

Step 2: Click File > New Screen Recording or press Control + Command + N.

QuickTime Player on a Mac showing a menu with an option to start a new screen recording.

Step 3: This opens the same Screenshot toolbar as in the section above. Click Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion, then click Record.

The MacOS Screenshot toolbar showing two buttons used to record a Mac's screen.

Step 4: When you’re finished, click the Stop button in the menu bar or press Control + Command + Esc.

Step 5: Unlike recording using the Command + Shift + 5 shortcut, QuickTime will automatically open the recording and save it to your chosen location (by default, this is the desktop). Here, you can view, edit, or share it.

A screen recording in QuickTime Player, with a menu open showing an option to trim the video.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Computing

Steve Jobs’ 1973 Job Application Auctions for Record Amount

A job application filled out by the late Apple boss Steve Jobs in 1973 has auctioned for $343,000.

It’s the highest amount that the artifact has fetched at any of the four auctions it’s been involved in, comfortably beating the previous record of $222,400 bid by a group of friends going by the name Winthorpe Ventures at a sale in March.

The latest auction took place online and closed on Wednesday, July 28.

Jobs filled out the one-page application by hand when he was 18 years old, three years before he co-founded Apple with friend Steve Wozniak and tech businessman Ronald Wayne.

The position that he was seeking isn’t shown on the form, but considering what he went on to do, and the fact that the application lists “electronics tech” and “design engineer” as special abilities and interests, along with “computer” and “calculator” for experience, we can safely assume it was tech-related.

“The Steve Jobs Job Application from 1973 is a unique piece of history from the exact moment that a dreamer changed the world,” the blurb on the auction page says.

“It’s a snapshot into the mind of a future genius at a moment where any small deviation from the path ahead would have meant a very different world today.”

Jobs’ application has gone under the hammer three other times, selling for $18,750 in 2017, $174,757 in 2018, and $222,400 in March.

In an effort to generate more interest in the latest auction, and as a clever way to generate an even bigger payday, Winthorpe Ventures offered the artifact as not only a physical copy but also as an NFT, a kind of certificate that allows a person to take ownership of something digital.

The organizer said it decided to offer the document in two formats in two separate auctions “to test the appetite for digital assets in contrast with physical equivalents.”

In the end, the NFT version of Jobs’ application form fetched just $23,076 — way less than the physical version — apparently confirming that most bidders were fixed on getting their hands on the original, physical artifact.

NFTs have garnered a lot of attention over the past year, leading to some big-money sales for digital artists and others keen to get involved. Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, for example, recently sold an NFT representing his first tweet for around $2.5 million.

The identities of the auction winners haven’t yet been revealed.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Tech News

BTS has likely set another huge YouTube debut streaming record

South Korean boy band BTS has likely set another YouTube record for most views in a 24-hour period on a debut song…the same record it already held with its previous hit “Dynamite.” The band’s new hit, “Butter,” raked in nearly 113 million views on its first day on YouTube, skyrocketing past the former debut streaming hit Dynamite’s 101.1 million views in 24 hours.

The band BTS remains massively popular in multiple countries with a primarily young viewer base — the same who turn to apps like YouTube and Snapchat for most of their entertainment. It’s no surprise, then, that the band’s latest song “Butter” was played millions of times during its first day, setting a new debut record while inching its way closer to a potential all-time streaming record.

Note that at this point, the record is based on the number of live views that show up on the video’s view counter. YouTube hasn’t validated the views yet, and it remains possible that some may be removed due to fans trying to manipulate the numbers and other shenanigans.

Whether any view corrections would be substantial enough to bump BTS from its new record remains unknown, however. It’s unclear how long it will take YouTube to review the video’s views and release the official 24-hour debut streaming numbers.

Assuming YouTube decides the valid views weren’t enough to give “Butter” the number one debut slot, the song would end up coming in at second place below “Dynamite” at 101 million views. Butter would, in that case, still likely have millions of more 24-hour debut views than the video now in third place — “How You Like That” by Blackpink.

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Categories
Computing

AMD’s Highly Powerful RX 6900 XT Sets a New World Record

Team OGS, or Overclocked Gaming Systems, achieved a new world record with the AMD RX 6900 XT. The Greek overclockers were able to push the card to 3.3GHz, the fastest clock speed ever for a graphics card. The achievement comes less than a month after a previous world record was set by Der8auer, who achieved a speed of 3.2GHz on the same PowerColor Liquid Devil Ultimate card.

The group was able to reach such speeds thanks to the Navi 21 XTXH GPU. Originally, the Navi 21 GPU inside the 6900 XT had an artificial clock limit of 3.0GHz. The updated XTXH variant ups the limit to 4.0GHz, offering more headroom for extreme overclockers to take advantage of.

Team OGS used the PowerColor Liquid Devil Ultimate card on an LN2 rig, just like Der8auer. The Liquid Devil is about as high-end as graphics cards get, shipping with binned GPUs for peak performance, a 14+2 VRM design, and three 8-pin power connectors. It also comes with a preinstalled waterblock, but both Team OGS and Der8auer removed the block to cool the card with liquid nitrogen.

Outside of the card, Team OGS used an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU overclocked to 5.6GHz and an Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero motherboard. Reaching 3.3GHz is a feat alone, but OGS ran the rig through 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme to offer some theoretical performance numbers for such an insane rig.

The results are, unsurprisingly, equally as insane. The 6900 XT achieved a graphics score of 41,069, and the rig as a whole earned a combined score of 37,618. For context, those results are better than 99% of all others. Due to a driver issue, the results are invalid, so it won’t show up on the official Fire Strike Extreme leaderboard. If they were valid, they would rank eighth, directly under a rig sporting four Nvidia Titan X graphics cards in SLI.

The 6900 XT is the fastest graphics card AMD currently offers, and the new world record shows just how capable the RDNA 2 architecture is. This likely isn’t the last time we’ll see the 6900 XT breaking records.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Game

How to Record Gameplay on PS4

Recording and sharing gameplay on a PlayStation 4 is a lot easier than you might think. Sure, capture cards are the best way to record and stream your gameplay, but you can capture your PS4 gameplay right from the console, too, no extra hardware required.

Even better, you don’t have to trigger the recording beforehand on your favorite PS4 games, so no matter if you score a win in Warzone or stumble upon one of the many twists and turns in The Last of Us Part II, you can put it on the record.

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to record and share gameplay on the PlayStation 4, from adjusting your video settings to saving the final product. Additionally, we’ll show you how to edit and upload your clip directly to social media or, if you’re looking for a little higher production quality, how to export the file to your computer.

Recommended reading:

1. Adjust your video settings

First, hold down the Share button on your PlayStation 4 controller to open up the Share menu (here’s how to sync a PS4 controller). From here, you’ll be able to change a bunch of different settings for how you share content you create on your PS4, including video. You’ll need to use these settings later to upload your video, but for now, you want to prep the PS4 to record the exact length of your clips. To do this, go to the Set Video Length menu.

set video length how to record a gameplay video on ps4

Here, you can determine how long the PlayStation 4 will record when you press the share button. The PS4 can automatically record for as long as an hour or as short as 30 seconds, but the default time is 15 minutes.

2. Fire up your game

The actual recording part is very simple. Start playing a game and you’ll have two options. First, you can start a new recording by using the Share button, which will record for the period you specified in the settings, or until you hit the Share button again.

The second option is to capture a video of something that just happened. Your PlayStation 4 automatically saves the last 15 minutes of gameplay from your current play session. If you encounter an amazing gameplay moment that you didn’t see coming, you can still capture it on video even if you didn’t think to hit the Share button. We’ll explain how to do both kinds of recording — the controls are similar but vary slightly in each case.

3. Start a new recording

record video how to record a gameplay video on ps4

If you want to record a video by basically pressing Record on your PS4 before you start playing, press the Share button twice, just like you’re double-clicking a mouse, to start rolling. The PS4 will record for the length of time you’ve set starting when you double-press the Share button, and you can stop the recording at any time by double-pressing the Share button again. When the recording is complete, your clip will be saved in the Capture Gallery folder on your PlayStation 4’s home screen.

Make sure that the game you’re recording doesn’t automatically disable recording features, as well. Certain titles — Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an infamous example, as well as the Ratchet & Clank reboot — will temporarily stop the capture feature from working in order to preserve story spoilers. To get around this, you’ll have to use a capture card rather than the built-in share features on the console, but very few games make use of it more than a few times.

4. Save the last 15 minutes of video

save last 15 minutes how to record a gameplay video on ps4

When something great happens in a game and you want to record it, but you didn’t previously hit the Share button to start a video, you aren’t out of luck. Your PS4 is always recording video, it just doesn’t save that video unless you tell it to. The last 15 minutes of your gameplay session is always saved in the PS4’s video cache. So if you just got through a tough boss fight or pulled off a sweet headshot, you can still save the video from the cache.

Here’s the thing: If you want to save the last 15 minutes of your gameplay, do not double-press the Share button! That’ll start a new video recording from the moment you push the button onward. Starting a new recording will delete the cached video.

To save the last 15 minutes of gameplay footage, simply press the Share button once to access the Share menu. From there, select Save Video Clip, or hit the Square button. That will save the video to the Capture Gallery, where you can mess with it at your leisure or share it. You can also use the Share menu to immediately share the video clip on social media, which will also save it to the Capture Gallery but will take you to the social media interface next.

4. Trim your clip

trim how to record a gameplay video on ps4

Now you’re ready to edit your video clip and get it into shareable shape. In most cases, you’ll want to trim your video to get it ready for public consumption. Some social platforms require videos to be short — Twitter clips, for example, must be less than two minutes. Even if you don’t need to shorten your clip, you might want to remove the boring stuff at the beginning and/or end of your video and get to the good part.

The Trim option is available in two places. In the Capture Gallery, highlight your video, and push the Options button on your controller to pull up a menu that includes the Trim option. You can also choose Share Video Clip from the Share menu, and you’ll access a screen with a list of social networks and video services. Pick the one you want to use to share your video, and you’ll be taken to the Share screen, where you can write a Facebook update or a Tweet, add a description of your video, and so on. You’ll find the Trim button at the top of the screen.

trim menu how to record a gameplay video on ps4

Selecting Trim allows you to remove some of the footage from your video file to shorten it. First, find the spot in the video where you want it to start by using the Directional Pad on your controller to scroll through a macro view of the video’s timeline.

The timeline shows screencaps that represent small snippets of the video: You can increase or decrease the size of these snippets, changing how much of the video you skip over each time you hit the D-Pad. To change the length of the timeline, select the dropdown menu that reads “10 Second Intervals.” As you might have guessed, the default timeline will cause every press of the D-Pad to skip 10 seconds of video, but you can increase that to 60 seconds, or bring it down to one second to be more precise.

trim menu interval how to record a gameplay video on ps4

When you find the spot where you want your new, shortened video to start, hit L2 to set the start point. From there, scroll forward along the timeline to find your endpoint and hit R2. An orange box will highlight the portion of the timeline that will become your new video. The other sections will be deleted when you finalize the edit.

For more precise edits, you can watch the video to find the right spot to start or stop by pressing the Preview button below the video timeline. As the video plays, you’ll see a timer running on the right side of the screen and a cursor moving over the timeline, both of which can help you pinpoint when to start and stop your clip.

Complete the trim, and your video will be saved to the Capture Gallery with the rest of your videos.

5. Share your video

share video how to record a gameplay video on ps4

Once your video is trimmed to the right length, it’s time to put it out on the internet. You’ll need to connect your PlayStation 4 to your social media accounts to do it, but selecting a social network from the Share Video Clip menu will give you on-screen instructions for signing in. Once you’ve got your social networks set, it’s just a matter of picking your video, and writing your tweet, status update, description, and so on.

share video privacy how to record a gameplay video on ps4

Some social platforms offer additional controls for you to customize privacy settings for your video. When uploading to Facebook or YouTube, for instance, you can use the controls to set who can see the video. On YouTube, you can also publish your videos as “unlisted” so they aren’t private, but they don’t show up in searches. You can also set the privacy controls for who can see the video on your PlayStation Network account’s social activity.

6. Getting your video on your computer

copy to usb how to record a gameplay video on ps4

If you don’t want to share your video online just yet, you can also transfer the video from your PS4 to an external hard drive or flash drive, then upload it to a computer.

First, plug your drive into one of the USB ports on the front of your PlayStation and navigate to the Capture Gallery. Select the video you want to transfer, then push the Options button. Using the menu that appears on the right side of the screen, select Copy to USB Storage Device.

select copy to usb how to record a gameplay video on ps4

You’ll be taken back to the grid view of the Capture Gallery. You can select which items you want to copy to your USB drive by pressing X. The images and videos you select will be marked with a large check in a tick box above each item. Once you’ve selected everything you want to transfer, move to the right-side menu and select Copy. Hit OK on the next screen and everything you’ve selected will be transferred to your external drive.

ps4 folder how to record a gameplay video on ps4
video clips how to record a gameplay video on ps4

Once you successfully transfer your videos to the external drive, take the USB drive out of your PS4. You can swap your video recording files to your computer simply by plugging your external drive into the USB port. You’ll see a folder named PS4 pop up in your My Computer folder if you’re using a Windows device. And if you’re using a Mac, you’ll see it in Finder.

If you need something in your PS4 folder, you can access it by simply clicking on it. Keep in mind that you might have to go through a few folders to find it. As you’re hunting for it, be sure to look for the Share folder, as this contains the Video Clips folder. 

If you want to watch old game recordings, select the Video Clips folder and search through the different folders of footage. You’ll notice that each file will be formatted in .mp4. All you need to do is find and click on your desired video and download it to your computer. 

Once you’re done with all of these steps, you’ll have the opportunity to share the recordings with others and edit them if necessary. Because they are in a simple .mp4 file format, you can edit them using standard video editing software.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Computing

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Sets 3.2GHz World Record

Overclocker Der8auer set a new world record with the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT. In a YouTube video released Wednesday, the German overclocking legend used a liquid nitrogen cooling rig to push AMD’s flagship Big Navi GPU to 3.2GHz, setting a new world record for graphics card speed. The 6900 XT is already an absurdly fast graphics card with a boost clock of 2.25GHz, but Der8auer was able to take the card 1GHz beyond even its fastest speed.

The clock speed goes beyond the artificial clock limit of 3.0GHz on the 6900 XT. That’s because Der8auer was using a PowerColor LiquidDevil Ultimate card, which has a clock limit of 4GHz. It uses the updated XTXH variant of the Navi 21 processor inside the 6900 XT, upping the previous version’s frequency limit.

The LiquidDevil Ultimate uses binned GPUs — meaning silicon that has been vetted for high overclocking potential — and features 16-phase VRM for excellent power management. It’s a card made for this kind of extreme overclocking, so it was inevitable that someone would set a world record.

Der8auer

Although the LiquidDevil Ultimate comes with a water block pre-installed, Der8auer stripped the PCB to attach an LN2 cooling chamber, pushing the card to sub-zero temperatures to create an optimal overclocking environment. He also used a custom BIOS, as nearly all extreme overclockers do, and said it will be released into the wild soon.

It was only for a split second, but Der8uer achieved a clock speed of 3,225MHz on the card before crashing. At the end of the video, he said the card has “enormous potential, at least for extreme overclocking,” and that other cards may be able to hit speeds as high as 3.5GHz.

But that’s getting into the territory of high-end, heavily-binned GPUs, and most gamers and hardware enthusiasts would be happy getting their hands on a 6900 XT at all. Like previous world records, this one is cause for celebration. However, it comes amid one of the worst GPU shortages the market has seen, which may not fully recover until 2022.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Game

PS5 bags fastest-selling console in US history record from NPD

Its already delayed launch may have been considered by some a disaster and units are still difficult to come by due to various factors but Sony can rest a bit easier now that the PlayStation 5 is standing on very solid ground. Part of its supply problems can be attributed to higher demand and, according to the NPD research group, the PS5 is indeed the fastest-selling console in the US so far, and that’s just within five months of being in the market.

Yes, the PS5 has only been in the market for five months but it almost feels like an eternity. The console’s launch was marred by a shortage in supplies which were caused by uncoordinated launch schedules and scalpers taking advantage of the market situation during a pandemic. A global ship shortage is now part of the factors that spell trouble for the console but, at least as of today, it’s apparently doing more than just great.

The NPD didn’t exactly disclose numbers but, at least according to Sony, it was looking at 7.6 million units by the end of March. Not only did it have the fastest-selling number of units, it also had the fastest-selling consoles in terms of dollar sales, making the most money selling that number of units. That it was able to do it just five months earned it that distinction in gaming history, at least in the US market.

That US gaming market, in general, also set records of its own. With a record $680 million, not only were hardware dollars sales 47% higher compared to the same period last year, it also broke the $552 million set way back in 2008.

NPD did throw Nintendo Switch fans a bone, crowning it the best-selling, even if not fastest, hardware platform in March for both units and dollar sales. For the first quarter of 2021, it also sold the most units while the PS5 made the most dollars. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any mention of the Xbox Series X|S in the report.



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Categories
Tech News

Screen record and capture lossless quality audio with this Mac app bundle on sale

TLDR: The AnyMP4 Screen and Audio Recorder for Mac lets users capture the exact online video and audio they want, then save it for playback later, all with the touch of a button.

There are any number of reasons why you might want a full recording of a virtual meeting or a lifestream. There could be vital, pertinent details worth going back to afterward to make sure you understand everything. Maybe you want to chronicle a truly epic game session that may never happen again. Or maybe it’s a live musical performance that you’d want to listen to again over and over.

With important moments like that, there’s no way you want to risk them disappearing into memory forever. The AnyMP4 Screen and Audio Recorder for Mac makes sure that never happens, offering all the tools to capture anything and everything that crosses your Mac screen to archive forever.

This lifetime subscription package starts with full access to AnyMP4 Screen Recorder, an ultra-handy tool for capturing streaming video, video conferences, tutorials, presentations, game sessions and more, all just the way you want them.

Whether users want to record everything playing on their desktop or just hone in on a player, the app’s Screen Video Recorder enables users to adjust the capture area by changing its size or moving it around the screen. Either way, you get full screen or customized video saved on your computer with absolutely no loss of quality.

Screen Recorder works with all the most popular streaming platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and others, all with a handful of presets for saving in any format you want, such as MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, MKV, FLV, and more. 

The app also includes a bunch of extra features that make your recordings even easier and more useful with abilities like real-time drawing, so users can annotate their video or screenshots using text, lines, arrows and more, all in real time. The scheduler makes it simple to capture a stream even if you aren’t there to record, and videos can be edited with additions like a logo or turning video clips into GIFs later.

Meanwhile, AnyMP4 Audio Recorder for Mac lets users work this same magic with audio-only capturing, like VoIP calls over Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger and more. It even works recording your own voice through a mic. From there, users can save files as MP3s, AACs, WMAs or even in lossless formats like M4A.

Again, AnyMP4 Audio grants ultimate audio manipulation options, from adding narration to tutorials and presentations, to grabbing local audio files or music played by Windows Media Player, Quick Time, RealPlayer, iTunes and others, then re-editing them just the way you want them.

Right now, you can score a lifetime of access to both AnyMP4 Screen and Audio Recorder for Mac at 70 percent off its regular price, now just $29.99.

Prices are subject to change.



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Tech News

New living robots made from frog cells can self-heal and record memories

Scientists have used the stem cells of frogs to create new living robots that can heal themselves and even record memories.

Named “Xenobots” after the Xenopus laevis frog that supplies their cells, the machines are an upgraded version of devices that were first unveiled last year.

Like their predecessors, the new Xenobots can work together in groups and self-heal. But version 2.0 are faster, live longer, and can record information about their surroundings.

The researchers believe future models could detect diseases and deliver drugs to specific areas of the body.

Programming nature

Biologists at Tufts University made the tiny robots by microinjecting amphibian eggs with RNA. After 24 hours, they removed the egg membrane.

Next, they harvested the stem cell tissue from the embryo. The tissue then formed into spheres with tiny hair-like structures — called cilia — that move to propel the bots across a surface.

As the Tufts scientists worked, their colleagues at the University of Vermont (UVM) used an evolutionary algorithm running on a supercomputer to simulate how different Xenobot shapes would behave.

The simulations identified which designs worked best gathering debris within a field of particles. The researchers say the new Xenobots were far better at the task than version 1.0.

[Read: How to use AI to better serve your customers]

The team also gave the robots a basic memory function.

The capability is powered by a fluorescent reporter protein called EosFP, which normally glows green, but emits a red color when exposed to light at 390nm wavelength.

The researchers injected the cells of the frog embryos with messenger RNA coding for the protein, which enabled the mature Xenobots to record exposure to blue light at around 390nm.

They tested the function on 10 Xenobots swimming around a surface where one spot was illuminated by the light. After two hours, three of the bots emitted a red light, while the rest remained green.

The researchers say this provided a memory of their “travel experience.” With further improvements, they believe the function could record the presence of drugs, pollutants, or disease conditions.

Team member Josh Bongard, a robotics expert at UVM, said they could also be engineered to perform more complex tasks:

We could potentially design them not only to report conditions in their environment but also to modify and repair conditions in their environment.

You can read the research paper in the journal Science Robotics.

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Published April 1, 2021 — 16:10 UTC



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