Fuel Cell-Packing Cockroaches Used to Generate Electricity
February 3, 2014 12:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
, 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.
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/3/2014 2:04:45 PM
Why does it seem like all that impossible crap in the movie The Matrix seems to becoming closer to reality every year???
2/3/2014 2:34:04 PM
Don't think of it that way. Think of the six million dollar man. artificial limbs running off the host's blood sugar, eliminating batteries and making them stronger and lighter. This is a good thing.
2/4/2014 9:24:58 AM
It's kind of ironic that he mentions The Matrix and yet that movie is based off another film called Ghost In The Shell in which is much more realistic than The Matrix.
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows XP, Vista Users Can Get Free Windows 10 Upgrade Thanks to Loophole
June 23, 2015, 2:23 PM
U.S. Navy Spends $9M USD to Cling to Windows XP, Office 2003
June 24, 2015, 2:03 PM
Under the Hood: Digging Into Sony's New CUH-1200 PS4, 1 TB Ultimate Player Ed.
June 23, 2015, 10:33 AM
SanDisk's 200GB microSDXC Card Turns Smartphones Into Enviable PMPs
June 26, 2015, 2:02 PM
Netflix Announces 7-to-1 Stock Split, Eyes Explosive Overseas Growth
June 23, 2015, 8:18 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information