EcoBot III: Innovative Robot for Sewage Treatment
EcoBot III is a robot developed to convert human sewage into usable energy.
The project is the result of collaboration of scientists from Wessex Water and Bristol Robotics Laboratory. EcoBot III features the technology using Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) which stores energy produced by converting nutrient rich waste. The goal the project is to develop more energy-efficient and eco-friendly robots that could be powered by human waste.
"Currently our treatment processes are energy intensive, but if there was a way of replicating the EcoBot III on a larger scale, some processes could be powered on the sewage they are treating," said Julian Dennis, Wessex Water's director of innovation and research. "It would eliminate the need for electricity and would mean that in the future, sewage treatment works could become self-sufficient - driving down operational costs and significantly reducing our carbon footprint."
The 6-kg robot is made up of the ingestion, artificial digestion and solid waste excretion mechanism. The sludge distribution mechanism and the MFCs are placed in the middle of the robot. An overflow collection tray is placed under the MFCs to feed back into the ingestion vessel above.