Gastrobot (literally ‘robot with stomach’) was a term coined in 1998 by the University of South Florida Institute’s director, Dr. Stuart Wilkinson. A gastrobot is a machine that derives all its energy from the digestion of food (a mixture of carbohydrates and protein). These molecules are obtained through a microbial fuel cell (MFC) which then converts the food into gases and other potential energy. The gases and liquids are used to help fuel things such as a hydrogen fuel cell which help create more energy, along with other gases that help power the mechanics of the gastrobot.

The future of these robots supposedly is for certain types of so called ‘start and forget’ missions on an ecological plateau which would be Earth at the current period in time. Their optic sensors may have artificial intelligence software that allows them to determine what is edible for consumption and energy conversion. Possible future commercial uses would be a self powered lawnmower that would obtain energy for itself from the cellulose in the grass cuttings.


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