Ecobot III -- Self-Sustaining Biomass Eating and Pooping Robot

Self-sustaining robot has an artificial gut (w/ Video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- UK researchers have developed an autonomous robot with an artificial gut that enables it to fuel itself by eating and excreting. The robot is the first bot powered by biomass to be demonstrated operating without assistance for several days. Being self-sustaining would enable robots of the future to function unaided for long periods.

logo Energy Autonomy: Ecobot

One goal of our work is to build energetically autonomous robots. For this, the Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology is employed to extract electrical energy from refined foods such as sugar and unrefined foods such as insects and fruit. This is achieved by extracting electrons from the microbial metabolic processes. To be truly autonomous, robots will be required to incorporate in their behavioural repertoire actions that involve searching, collecting and digesting food. The robot will be designed to remain inactive until sufficient energy has been generated to complete its next task. This may prove to be a paradigm shift in the way action selection mechanisms are designed - (Project code-name:‘EcoBot’).

Ecobot Project & Team

Collected from: Energy Autonomy: Ecobot

Holy crap! Scientists create pooping robot

The robot is powered by 48 small microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and moves along a steel track between sources of liquid food and water (see time-lapse video here).

The liquid food contains yeast extracts, minerals, and salt. The MFCs repeatedly digest and then recycle the food, producing hydrogen and electricity in the process. Once every 24 hours, the recycled food is pushed through a peristaltic pump into a litter tray, making EcoBot III the first poop-bot of its kind.

"Diarrhea-bot would be more appropriate," lab director Chris Melhuish told New Scientist. "It's not exactly knocking out rabbit pellets."

Ecobot III Goes Poo

Self-sustaining robot has an artificial gut (w/ Video)

Energy Autonomy: Ecobot

Holy crap! Scientists create pooping robot | Crave - CNET

YouTube - Ecobot III Goes Poo

Self-Sustaining Robot Equipped with New Artificial Gut Eats, and Excretes, All By Itself | Popular Science

First Self-Sustaining Biomass Bot Eats, Excretes, Runs for a Week | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

YouTube - Eating flies robot

Bristol Robotics Laboratory