Print 22 comment(s) - last by MrBlastman.. on Feb 4 at 1:44 PM

A 3D-printed prototype of the cell generated 50.2 microwatts of power from a single cockroach

A bug typically despised by many has actually proved to be useful in a new study, where the insects were used to create a wireless sensor network.
According to Techon, Japanese researchers from Osaka University and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have developed tiny fuel cells that attach to the cockroaches and generate electricity. 
The fuel cell -- which measures approximately 20 x 15mm and is comprised of electrodes, a tank of body fluid, and a needle that is inserted into the bug -- is placed on the cockroach. The bug's body fluid is a source of a type of sugar called trehalose, which helps generate the electricity.

[SOURCE: Engadget]

The bug's body fluid makes its way into the tank (which has a dialysis membrane inside) via diffusion. From there, the trehalose is broken down into glucose by enzymes trehalase and mutarotase, and an oxidation-reduction reaction is used to oxidize the glucose on the positive electrode side and generate oxygen on the negative electrode side.
A 3D-printed prototype of the cell generated 50.2 microwatts of power from a single cockroach, and the study foresees a wireless sensor network of high-tech bugs. 
The Japanese universities aren't the first to use cockroaches to generate electricity. In 2012, chemistry professor Daniel Scherson from Case Western Reserve University used enzymes capable of converting a cockroach's food consumption into electrons, which can then be sent through a fuel cell to generate electricity.

Source: Techon

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
By milktea on 2/3/2014 12:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
Doubt the machine will eliminate humans. They'll instead use humans to generate electricity, just like we do to the cockroaches. :)

RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
By MrBlastman on 2/3/2014 1:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with using humans to generate energy is you have to give them food. To give them food, you have to produce, harvest and process it. All of those steps require energy. The same energy the machines need.

We get in the way of our (potentially future) mechanical overlords. They will have little use for us once they become self-aware and fully autonomous and able to "reproduce."

RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
By Solandri on 2/3/2014 2:27:04 PM , Rating: 5
The human body only produces about 100 Watts of heat energy. Why in the world would you want to deal with feeding a bunch of humans and dealing with their waste, when a generator small enough to fit in the palm of your hand can do the same thing. The Matrix was a great movie, but this was one of its nonsensical plot devices.

RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
By MrBlastman on 2/3/2014 2:44:40 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
By MojaMonkey on 2/3/2014 10:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
If generating energy off of humans caused weight loss then people would pay a lot of money to be connected up.

If it could also charge your phone then that would be a bonus.

RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
By MrBlastman on 2/4/2014 1:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
The number one way for humans to lose weight is to stop stuffing their pie hole with so much junk.

The second best way is for them to be physically active. Ya know--actually "do" something. :)

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki