Scientists Create Hungry Robot

July 22, 2010 | 10:16
Scientists Create Hungry Robot
Scientists Create Hungry Robot
The future is here! Meet EcoBot III, an advanced, high tech robot blessed with the ability to... eat. And all by itself at that: EcoBot III is a completely autonomous eating robot. And it's even potty trained. The robot is built by Chris Melhuish and his team at the Bristol Robotics Lab.

Why build an eating and pooping robot, you might ask? Just like human beings, to generate power and survive! This particular bot has 48 Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) to do just that. It takes a cocktail of yeasts, minerals and other nutrients. Inside the MFCs, bacterias break down the food, releasing hydrogen in the process.  The hydrogen is used to generate a current and produce small amounts of water. Whatever part of the yeasty cocktail that escapes from the robotic digestion gets recycled until the robot has extracted all energy from the stuff. It can then excrete it.

It's not much more than a working prototype, but having robots that can support themselves by feeding on organic matter is a useful enough goal if you ask me.
» Read more at NewScientist
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