This 3D-Printed Robot Heart Runs on Nothing But Pee

By Eric Limer on at

Robots may not have souls, but pretty soon they might have real, 3D-printed, fluid-pumping hearts. Except those hearts won't be pumping blood; they'll be pumping pee.

Last month, researchers at the University of the West of England made big strides in the worlds of 3D-printing, robotics, and pee with a fully functioning artificial heart actuator that uses a chamber full of micro-organisms and a healthy does of urine. Cool, but not as cool as actually seeing it.

This 3D-Printed Robot Heart Runs on Nothing But Pee

If that's not enough for you, there's footage of it actually working, although it's pumping what appears to be water—or, at the very least, a particularly well-hydrated person's pizzle.

It'll probably be a while before this thing actually starts making it into robots, and (un?)fortunately, they're not intended to go inside you at any point in the foreseeable future. But, with any luck, the toilet of the future will also be your robo-butler.

Image credit: Walters, et al. Centre for Fine Print Research and Bristol Robotics Laboratory ©2013 IOP Publishing Ltd