Viridian Note 00177: Carnivorous RobotBruce Sterling [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Attention Conservation Notice: So much our kind of cute, weird gizmo that it's almost embarrassing.
Links: Stuart Wilkinson is a hard-working academic and, although he clearly sees the humor in this effort, he's not kidding. http://www.eng.usf.edu/~wilkinso/gastrobotics/page8.html
Wilkinson S., "Gastrobots == Benefits and Challenges of
Wilkinson S., "A Crude but Novel Carrot Powered Gastrobot for Middle or High School Demonstrations" Proc. of the 7th IASTED Int. Conf. on Robotics & Applications, Paper # 304-024, Santa Barbara, California, October 28-30, 1999.
Wilkinson S. & Guanio D., "Development of a Spectrometric Citrus Odor Sensor for a Frugivorous Robot" Proc. of the 6th IASTED Int. Conf. on Robotics and Manufacturing, Banff, Alberta, Canada, July 26-31, 1998.
Wilkinson S. & Campbell C., "Green Bug Robots == Renewable
Wilkinson S. & Campbell C., "Bio-Power: A Study of Fermentation Driven Insect Robots" Proc. of the 1996 Florida Conf. on Recent Advances in Robotics, FAU, Boca Raton, FL, April 11-12, 1996, pp. 204-209.
Microbial Fuel Cells:
Buy one right now! http://www.ncbe.reading.ac.uk/NCBE/MATERIALS/fuelcell.html How They Work, sort of: http://www.automation.hut.fi/research/bio/fc98jp.htm
Entries in the Viridian Magazine Cover Contest:
Viridians stupefied by summer heat, too enfeebled to mouse-click a graphics program.
This contest expires August 31, 02000.
"Could the future of robotics be a toy train with a taste for flesh?"
by Duncan Graham-Rowe
"Beware: a hungry, flesh-eating robot called Chew Chew could have designs on you. Not that you won't hear the beast coming: Chew Chew is a 12-wheeled monster that looks
more like a train. But he's also the first robot to be
a device that enslaves a population of bacteria, in this
case E. coli, to break down food and convert chemical
energy into electricity. The ideal fuel, in terms of
energy gain, is meat, says inventor Stuart Wilkinson of
the University of South Florida in Tampa. 'Vegetation is
not nearly as nutritious,' he explains. But eating meat
requires you to catch it first and that, in turn, requires
a lot of extra energy and complex behaviours, he says.
"Early applications for gastrobots are likely to
about a metre long. For convenience, says Wilkinson, Chew Chew only eats sugar cubes at the moment because these are almost entirely broken down by the microbes, producing virtually no waste." (...)
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