Overture Life, a Spanish business that created a sperm-injecting robot that can be controlled with a PlayStation controller, successfully fertilised human eggs and gave birth to two healthy babies.
According to an MIT Technology Review story, one of the engineers involved in constructing the world’s first insemination robot had no familiarity with fertility therapy. They were, however, able to use a Sony PlayStation 5 controller to aid in the development process.
Using a specialized controller, a startup student engineer successfully guided a small, mechanized needle during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures.
Individual sperm cells were carefully inserted into human eggs a dozen times using this procedure.
The methods, according to the researchers, produced viable embryos, which resulted in the birth of two baby girls. According to the paper, the researchers say that these kids are the first known persons to be born following fertilization using automated technology.
“I was calm. In that exact moment, I thought, ‘It’s just one more experiment’,” Eduard Alba, the student mechanical engineer in charge of the sperm-injecting apparatus, was reported as saying.
Furthermore, the startup claims that its device is the first step toward automating in vitro fertilization, or IVF, potentially making the procedure far less expensive and far more common than it is now.
Currently, in vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratories are typically run by highly skilled embryologists, who can earn more than $125,000 per year and are in charge of carefully manipulating sperm and eggs using ultra-thin hollow needles and powerful microscopes.
According to the report, Overture has gotten the greatest money thus far: around $37 million from investors including Khosla Ventures and Susan Wojcicki, the former CEO of YouTube.
Experts believe that this is only the first step toward fully automating the process.
“The concept is extraordinary, but this is a baby step,” said Gianpiero Palermo, who pioneered the now-commonplace intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) method in the 1990s.
Overture’s engineers still had to manually load sperm cells into injector needles, indicating that “this is not yet robotic ICSI.”