Discovery News provides the latest on the impending robo-pocalypse:
A fly-catching clock, pest-control lampshade and mouse-eating table all together make for one hungry living room. But if you’re into cyborg, self-sufficient furniture, incorporating carnivorous robots into the design is one way to go.
Designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau are working on it. As part of a conceptual project to rethink how robots could fit into our lives, the duo has created a set of autonomous household objects that each perform both a regular function (like “table”) and a technological one (like “digital clock”). But instead of going for solar power or some other renewable source of energy, they decided bugs and rodents could do the job. Not sure I’d want to put my mug on the cheese-baited mouse-eating coffee table though.
The table baits a mouse up through one oversized leg and to the center of the table, where a trapdoor opens and they fall into a chamber full of microbes which digest the rodent and use the energy to power the table’s electronics (presumably the sensor that detects the mouse). Similarly, a digital clock is powered with the same type of microbial fuel cell, collecting its prey with flypaper. A spherical lampshade with holes modeled after the infamous Pitcher plant lures flies in, but they are unable to escape and eventually fall into the bottom of the light, where they become fuel. They’ve also modified a UV fly-zapper to retrieve power from the fly corpses it creates.
These robot meat eaters are mostly for entertainment, and we use the term loosely. One design has no real function; the fly “stealing” robot plucks flies from spiderwebs on its surface when they are detected with a camera. Some of the projects have “power bars”which people can watch filling up as the furniture digests…
For more information, see original article.