|Looks like a smoke detector fellas|
The robots, cutely referred to as Ecobots, use fuel cells which contain bacteria that turns the urine into electrons for power.
The scientists claim that they have already used these bacteria to charge cell phone batteries.
In order to deliver the urine to the fuel cells, the scientists have created artificial muscles comprised of smart materials that remember their shape. When heat is applied by an electrical current the artificial muscles contract and when the current is taken away they relax, causing the muscles to work a pump like an artificial heart, effectively moving the urine to the fuel cells.
Currently the scientists want to use the Ecobots as pollution sensors that could be placed through out a city and powered by local public bathrooms.
However, they claim that more research must be done to make the machines more effective. The good news is that these machines can produce more electricity than they need to run.
It would be wonderful if the same tech is one day applied to power cars. Now that would save us all a bundle.
Imagine an electric car that has a microbial fuel cell instead of a traditional tank and a part that works like a heart. You wouldn't be able to call people who name their cars weird anymore.