In recent robotic news, scientists from Bristol University in the UK have developed a little robot that can clean water bodies while generating power as it swims.
The Row-Bot is reported to float on the water and is powered by a small artificial stomach that runs using bacteria as fuel.
The tiny robot makes its power from dirty and will continue to swim as long as there is water to clean, and is expected to have a great impact on the way we deal with the environment.
"The work shows a crucial step in the development of autonomous robots capable of long-term self-power," writes one of the reports authors.
The Row-Bot works on Microbial Fuel Cell that operate as its digestive system. The microbes digest in the water and produce electrons as a result. The electrons can be harvested go to the oars, thus needing no external power source.
At this point its only in the proof-of-concept
While this is only a proof-of-concept at this stage, the researchers are hoping their design can be developed and adapted for widespread use.
"The energy generated has been shown to exceed the energy required to refuel," explains the report.
"It is the first practical robotic application to use a single MFC and as such demonstrates the potential of the technology as an energy supply... This work demonstrates a suitable system for robots operating autonomously for extended periods in the environment and presents many avenues for development."