Sunday, February 20, 2011

YaaY, Science Gives us Carnivorous Robots, Wait...WHAT?!

Image credit: The Matrix

If Science fiction has taught me anything, it's that the machines and the technology I so love today will soon rise up to take over the world, and wipe out the human race. But the good news, is that we won't all be wiped out when the machines launch war on humanity, some of us will be kept around to be used as a fuel source for our new silicon masters! Sound implausible?

Well, consider this -The machines have already demonstrated their vast superiority in two of our most important geekly endeavors; Chess, with Deep Blue's defeat of Chess titan Gary Kasparov in 1997, and just this week, with IBM's supercomputer Watson's utter destruction of two of our greatest geek champions on Jeopardy. Sure, Kasparov did manage to win one round and draw three others, but Deep Blue still won, and yes, the humans on Jeopardy DID manage to win the final Jeopardy question, but their daily dollar amounts weren't even close.

Now, inventors at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory are building robots powered by Microbial fuel cells, which work by using bacteria to break down the bodies of dead flies and generate electrons which are in turn converted into electricity and used to power the machines. But that's only the beginning, as these scientist ultimately hope to design robots that can turn much larger bits of "biomass", that's us, into electricity, thus ensuring our inevitable demise at the hands of the machines! Okay, so none of these scientists have specifically mentioned feeding human flesh to their robots, but it's CLEARLY implied!!!

All kidding aside, microbial fuel cells are an impressive and unbelievably cool concept. One which could potentially be a real solution to a number of vexing problems, stemming from our ever growing dependence on technology and our need to power it. Besides, even if technology does someday become self-aware, run amok, and ultimately reduce humanity to little more than squishy pink D-cells; I've never really been good with people anyway, so I, for one, welcome our future robot overlords.


Source: Derren Brown's blog

Inspired by carnivorous plants like Pitcher plants and Flytraps, which consume insects to make up for the lack of nitrogen in the soil in which they grow; designer James Auger created the fly-powered clock in the video below.

Posted by Youtube user:Crittersinc

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