Skip to Content

Gastrobot

The “gastrobot” has arrived: the world’s first robot that eats and digests to generate its own power and that may eventually produce robo-poop. The hungry robot, built at the University of South Florida in Tampa and dubbed Gastronome, is one meter long and rolls on 12 wheels. Gastronome is powered by a microbial fuel cell filled with E. coli bacteria. So far it only ingests sugar; as the bacteria break down glucose molecules, electrons are released and captured to charge a battery, which powers the motor. The contraption could run on vegetation-or meat, for maximum energy-but would eventually become constipated: The complicated process of waste elimination hasn’t been perfected. Inventor Stuart Wilkinson, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, says one eventual commercial use could be a robotic lawn mower that eats the clippings for power.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

light and shadow on floor
light and shadow on floor

How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation

The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.

protein structures
protein structures

DeepMind says it will release the structure of every protein known to science

The company has already used its protein-folding AI, AlphaFold, to generate structures for the human proteome, as well as yeast, fruit flies, mice, and more.

ASML machine
ASML machine

Inside the machine that saved Moore’s Law

The Dutch firm ASML spent $9 billion and 17 years developing a way to keep making denser computer chips.

brain map
brain map

This is what happens when you see the face of someone you love

The moment we recognize someone, a lot happens all at once. We aren’t aware of any of it.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.