(from gastro- "eating" + robotics)

An emerging field in robotics and engineering, gastrobotics is all about robots that eat. By using a yeast culture to digest the sugars in plant matter, for example, a gastrobot could feed itself by producing pressurized CO2 and combustible alcohol.

This science is still young and in the early experimental stages. It shows great promise, however, and may some day replace the lawnmower with a Silicon Goat. Or it may create carnivorous robo-CHUDs that crave human flesh. Hey, that's the exciting thing about new technology. You never know.

SOURCE: "Living Off The Land", Smithsonian, July 2001

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