The Sewage-Powered Diarrhoea-Bot

#Opinion

Sat, Jul 24th, 2010 19:00 by capnasty NEWS

Ecobot III marks the first demonstration of a biomass-powered robot that can operate unaided for some time and that comes complete with a digestive tract. The machine has so far shown that it can survive for up to seven days, feeding and "watering" itself unaided while generating power with the help of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) -- bio-electrochemical devices that enlist cultures of bacteria to break down food to generate electricity. The Ecobot III obediently expels its waste into a litter tray once every 24 hours. "Diarrhoea-bot would be more appropriate," says Chris Melhuish, director of the Bristol Robotics Lab in the UK. "It's not exactly knocking out rabbit pellets."

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