Microbial fuel cells power autonomous robots

Robots may soon owe their power to microorganisms

According to NTD Television, tiny microbes are now being used by several robotics systems for fuel.

These microscopic organisms have the potential to be an infinite power supply for robots, as they would only need organic matter for food. The news source claims that food sources will be made readily available to robots, as microbial food cells can convert digested organic matter, such as common household pests, into electrical power.

MFC-enabled robots have already invaded the robotics scene. Designers in the U.K. recently developed an alarm clock that uses this system, which, according to the media organization, has the power to catch flies for food autonomously.

The new robotics power supply has led to several theories as to how it should be properly used by society.

"If we play it right, and if we have these microbial fuel cells engineered appropriately and configured to fit in within an existing waste water treatment plant, these microbial fuel cells can be cleaning waste water and generating electricity at the same time," Loannis Leropoulos of Bristol Robotics Laboratory told the news source.

MFC usage is not limited to the robotics field. According to Crazy Engineers, a program run by the Harvard School Of Engineering & Applied Sciences, recently received a $100,000 grant to develop an MFC-based mobile device charger.

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