Now, a robot that eats and poos!

July 21st, 2010 - 3:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, July 21 (ANI): Technicians in the UK have built a robot that can eat and also excrete its waste.

Ecobot III, which was created by the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the UK, functions by tucking into a daily bowl of soup, which is washed down by the odd sip of water it generates in the process.

Ecobot III, also known as ‘BreadBot’, is guided towards its food by a light source, and it gulps down the soup into an artificial gut with two ’stomachs’ full of bacteria.

The bacteria then processes the sewage ‘mash’ and 24 microbial fuel cells harvest its hydrogen and split it up into various useful forms.

While the hydrogen electrons generate the electric current, which powers the robot, hydrogen ions are sent to a separate chamber where they mix with oxygen to create water.

The robot drinks some of the water, and the rest goes back to help it pump out poo every 24 hours that’s gathered via gravity feed in a trough.

“It’s not exactly knocking out rabbit pellets. Diarrhoea-bot would be more appropriate,” quoted Bristol Robotics Lab director Chris Melhuish as saying.

Bristol went on to say that BreadBot can process a much greater range of food, including waste water, which could shore up a future for it in dredging and filtering our sewers.

Ecobot III will make its first official public appearance on August 19, at the Artificial Life conference in Denmark. (ANI)

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