EcoBot III: a Robot that Produces Energy Fueled by Organic Matter

Alessia Andreotti
June 16th 2013

There are robots that look like people, and then there are robots, like the Ecobot III, that look nothing like humans but have our same biological needs: they have to eat, digest and excrete. The EcoBot III is a product of the partnership between scientists at Wessex Water and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. This robot works in a sewage treatment system and feeds off sewage, with an artificial stomach made ??up of fuel cells that run on human waste.

So, the eco-friendly EcoBot III recycles the organic material and turns it into energy. What benefits does this mechanical being bring to us? The success of this robot means that, in the future, sewage treatment works could become self-sufficient, driving down operational costs and significantly reducing our carbon footprint. It also could change the treatment processes at sewage plants, cutting the energy costs.

Plus, the robot has another quality: it’s not choosy. It doesn’t complain about the food. It can devour everything, from kitchen waste to human excrement. In the future it may even take the place of toilets and garbage disposals. The EcoBot III is a good example of nature and technology combined: a high-tech device based on a biological process.

Find more about the EcoBot Project on the Bristol Robotics Laboratory website.


Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!


Comments are members only. Login to your account and join the technology debate.

Not a member? Join us

Should men be able to give birth to children?

Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

Already a member? Login.