Researchers at the University of Bristol have created a robot prototype which eats bacteria in dirty water to power itself.
The power generated moves the robot forward, thus letting it eat more bacteria, making the process self-sustaining.
The robot uses a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) to break down the bacteria, which generates the power needed by the device.
It creates an anaerobic state, in which the bacteria is broken down to produce carbon dioxide, protons and electrons, which help produce electricity.
This power is then routed to a 0.75 watt motor which operates the paddles that move the device forward in the water.
The robot is constructed with 3D Printed parts, which the design being geared towards maximizing surface area in the power stroke and reduce drag in the recovery stroke.
Now that this theory has been tested on a small scale, it can be used to create bigger and better robots like this, which will work to monitor and clean large water bodies all across the world.