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Hungry for success ‐ future directions in gastrobotics research

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The paper discusses the new emerging technology of "gastrobotics", or food-powered mobile robots. The concept of self-sufficiency is examined, and it is postulated that robots with stomachs offer the promise of sustained autonomous operation in an unstructured outdoor environment, which is not possible with existing alternative methods. Data is presented that compares the energy density of various foods, with that of common chemical batteries and gasoline. The various food groups are discussed as regards their suitability as fuel for gastrobots, and a variety of potential applications are presented. The basic operation of a microbial fuel cell is described in its role as an artificial stomach, thereby demonstrating how this biotechnology can efficiently convert food into electricity.
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Keywords: Food; Robots

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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