The Heap


Photo courtesy of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.Of all the wastes we might seek to recycle, one of the peskiest (and least pleasant to talk about) is human waste, i.e., feces and urine. But what if that waste could be recycled as a power source for robots and other electronics? Yes, R2-D2 would run on your #2.

You may be surprised to learn that it’s already happening. British scientists have been powering a series of robots known as EcoBots using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) since 2002. Once established, the microbes feed on organic waste, including human waste, and are able to convert the energy contained therein into electricity. MFC technology is especially interesting to NASA, which is eager to make use of it on long-distance manned space voyages.

All of which sounds great until you realize that in the future your ability to watch the SuperBowl may be determined by your recent fiber intake.

Source: Scientific American

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