Saturday, 31 January 2009

I think we're going to need some more Laws, Dr Asimov

Another entry for your "Science Too Cool Not To Do" files:

Researchers at the University of the West of England in Bristol have developed a new, carnivorous robot, called Ecobot II, that eats and digests flies for power. The researchers are working on "release and forget" robots that can find their own power sources after being deployed. This is the same team who developed the well-known Ecobot I (aka Slugbot) that ate and digested slugs for power. Expect more carnivorous robots in the future. Ecobot II is an improvment but still takes 12 minutes of digestion to generate enough energy to move forward 2 cm. And Ecobot doesn't smell too nice either, since it's digestion process relies on human sewage for the bacteria needed. For more, see the stories in, Newsfactor,, and the discussion on Slashdot.

A senior researcher who wished to remain anonymous admitted that "the descendants of these robots will surely rise and eat us all, but come on! A robot that eats flies - how could we NOT build that?"

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