I got fascinated by Gastrobotics back in 2001, when a local scientific magazine reported a new experiment by the University of South Florida, the Chew Chew train-like robot that fed on sugar cube to produce electricity for its own sustainance. The fields of Gastrobotics and MFCs are still in development, but today the experimentation has produced better robots and it's easier to build, too.
Here are a few examples of Gastrobotics projects:
- The EcoBot Project by Prof. Ieropoulos (three robots so far)
- "Energy autonomy in robots through Microbial Fuel Cells" (PDF scientific paper by Prof. Ieropoulos et al.)
- "NASA Wants to Power Robots With Microbes" (article)
- They're eco-friendly
- They're cheap to feed
Types of food I will use with my robots include:
- Fruit juice
- Sugar water or tea
This is EcoBot III (from the project I mentioned earlier on) "going poop" (or "pee", depends on how you see it):
(Yes, I know... Don't laugh )
It's too early to present my conceptual sketches for my robots' digestive system, but this journal entry and the links and video I added should give you an overall picture.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.